Monday, November 4, 2013

Artist of the Day: Mutual Benefit

To all those broken-hearted that their Falls will be presumably unenhanced by a new slow-leaf-falling, mountain-road-drifting Fleet Foxes album, don’t give up hope! They’re not the only ones that can do it, and who knows, maybe they’re not even the ones that can do it best. Hailing from smack-dab on the other end of I-90, Boston’s Mutual Benefit are making a good argument for themselves with a debut mesmerizingly humble in light of its utter beauty. 

Love’s Crushing Diamond is unassuming and, on the surface, almost perfect. It’s an album that happens to you, really slowly and so soft that you’ll hardly even notice, until it clicks and you just sort of blink a pensive blink and turn it on again. I haven’t been so excited by passivity since Real Estate. The album is short, barely a half an hour, but you’ll find yourself devoting an afternoon. Actually, I don’t think there’s another way to listen to it. Also, while it is warm log-cabin folksy at times, its more. Tracks like “That Light That’s Binding” flirt with Beach House-brand dream-pop, but taken from a completely different angle. Earthy instead of faraway, but with all the transcendent warmth of “Walk in the Park” or the like. 

If you’ve heard of these guys, you’ve probably heard “Advanced Falconry.” As it should be. For all the album’s rearing successes, this track stands tall and alone. I tell you, I’ll be humming it in my sleep. A meshy pattern of stringed things, all singing together but a little different, and vocal harmonies, simple but genius, will have you mushing worse than any given Rom Com, and you won’t feel cheap for it. You’re listening now, right?

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