Mutual Benefit – ‘Thunder Follows the Light’ album review

Mutual Benefit album review

Transgressive Records signing Mutual Benefit makes a welcome return with ‘Thunder Follows the Light’ on 21 September.

The album opens with ‘Written in Lighting’; a song that gives Mutual Benefit (or Jordan Lee as he’s known to his friends and family) the chance to showcase his gentle falsetto and warming advice about taking care of each other ‘through the storms’. Following this is ‘Shedding Skin’; a gliding piece that features beautiful birdsong and a sigh of sadness as Jordan claims ‘it looks like it will be that kind of year’.

Recent single ‘Come to Pass’ is a magical piece in the vein of Laura Marling that has just the right amount of chimes and whimsy as Jordan discusses overcoming bad dreams and how he’s been biding his time to make a difference: ‘And I’ve been waiting for a long time, seems like we waited for a lifetime’. This is followed by the jazz-tinged ‘Waves, Breaking’ and  swaying Wilko-style strums of ‘Mountains Shadow’, a visceral track full of nature-based metaphors (‘Down in the valley’; ‘beyond those hilltops” ‘underneath the mountain shadows’; ‘waiting for the sun to show again’) and an outpouring of emotion.

‘Nightingale Sing’ has lullaby-style melodies and Tunng-style vibes as Jordan sings about how ‘a nightingale sings for the king, will you be the muse until you’re of no use’. He then goes on to say how ‘some day you will know your song has found its home’ while the closing  ‘Thunder Follows’ talks about sky and sadness and how unnatural city lights can affect all kinds of things (‘We can still try and make out what we are inside’) amidst a quieter Caspian-style soundtrack.

Combining chamber pop melodies with folk-tinged sadness and a love of nature, the album will be supported by the following tour dates:

22 Oct – Belfast, Empire Music Hall
23 Oct – Cork, Cyprus Avenue
24 Oct – Dublin, Whelan’s
26 Oct – Glasgow, The Great Eastern
27 Oct – Newcastle, The Cluny
28 Oct – Bristol, The Exchange
30 Oct – London, Oslo
31 Oct – Manchester, Now Wave Venue
01 Nov – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
03 Nov – Aberfeldy, Town Hall (Aberfeldy Festival)
04 Nov – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

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