Jordan Lee's lush pop project
Mutual Benefit with LeaplingMercury Lounge (217 East Houston Street, New York, NY) Map it $12
Jordan Lee has spent the last few years moving from Ohio to Austin to Boston, and most recently Brooklyn, running the wonderful Kassette Klub label, touring with friends’ groups, and leading an amorphous project called Mutual Benefit, a one-man-band or a sprawling collective, depending on where he is and who is around that day. After releasing various limited edition EPs and playing scores of house shows, Lee completed his debut album, Love’s Crushing Diamond, a record of lush, watery, pop songs, pieced together over the past several years and inspired by the kinetic energy, goodbyes, and blurred landscapes of life on the road. The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee’s fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While Lee is certainly the brainchild throughout, the album is very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.
Love’s Crushing Diamond was initially going to be a cassette-only self-release. Then, it was going to be pressed as a limited edition, 250 LP run via vinyl-only label, Soft Eyes. However, after the Bandcamp posting of the album received growing recognition, including being the first-ever Bandcamp release to be named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork and a “Band to Watch” feature on Stereogum, it soon become apparent the album needed a proper release. Thus, Other Music Recording Co. stepped in to take the reigns—they will release the album on CD on December 3rd (January 13 in the UK/Europe); on LP on January 7th. The album is available digitally now. The first pressing of the CD and LP come with a free download code for Mutual Benefit’s “Cowboy’s Prayer” EP.