Mutual Benefit Releases Two New Songs off Forthcoming Record Thunder Follows The LightImages via Stephanie Griffin, Transgressive Records Music News Mutual Benefit
In 2014 Paste named Mutual Benefit The Best of What’s Next, and since then, Jordan Lee has released albums Skip a Sinking Stone (2016) and Just Another Diamond Day (2017)—a cover of Vashti Bunyan’s record of the same name. The new Mutual Benefit album, Thunder Follows The Light, is due out Sept. 21, and Lee released two songs off the record on Tuesday in anticipation: “New History” and “Storm Cellar Heart.”
On “New History,” Lee amplifies the folk side of his sound with the harmonica and slide guitar as central points on the track. The song also features vocals from Yohuna’s Johanne Swanson. Although nowhere near the punk or rap music scenes often associated with political music today, Mutual Benefit ties the same mindset in while moving in the vein of political folk music tradition, which artists like Bob Dylan are known for doing.
“I think people in power benefit greatly from a general lack of historic memory in the U.S.,” Lee said, commenting on “New History.” “I’ve been wondering if the first step to imagining a more just world is to study our history better, not just the linear revisionist one that is oft-repeated but all the unsung champions of equal rights as well as the acts of unthinkable cruelty that humans are also capable of.”
“Storm Cellar Heart” addresses a tendency to run from the thunderous turmoil of the world and that while removal for a time to recharge is important, so is returning to the world. The song asks the question: Is it storms that help make the heart grow?
“While I was writing the record, everywhere I looked, I saw massive societal strain on both people and the environment, and began to wonder if this is the lightning before some thunderous change. If we are living in that in-between time,” Lee said.
Lee’s transfixion by the time in between the lightning and thunder leads neatly into the memorable title of Mutual Benefit’s forthcoming record. Thunder Follows The Light, which will be released in all formats, is available for preorder here, and you can listen to the first two singles below. Mutual Benefit will be announcing tour dates shortly.