WASTELAND COMPANIONS IS TAKEN FROM MUTUAL BENEFIT’S NEW ALBUM GROWING AT THE EDGES OUT 6 OCTOBER VIA TRANSGRESSIVE
WATCH A VISUALIZER FOR WASTELAND COMPANIONS HERE
New York-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jordan Lee, aka Mutual Benefit has today revealed a brand-new track Wasteland Companions, accompanied by a visualizer. The track is taken from Mutual Benefit’s upcoming, fourth album, Growing at the Edges, set for release on 6 October via Transgressive and is the follow up to recent single Little Ways which Paste Magazine described as ‘Unhurried and sweet, the track rolls forward on the wheels of its own optimism’.
Speaking about Wasteland Companions, Lee says:
“Wasteland Companions was inspired by a bittersweet hike I took years ago where the final vista revealed the aftermath of a forest fire. While it was a terrible sight, I was also moved by the new growth popping up. The imagery stayed with me and served as an important reminder of the life-changing relationships that can flourish in adverse conditions”.
For his new album Growing at the Edges, Lee brought in two crucial collaborators: his first-ever co-producer in multi-instrumentalist Gabe Birnbaum, of Brooklyn’s Wilder Maker, and violinist Concetta Abbate, who contributed string arrangements. The interplay of Birnbaum’s jazz and country riffs and Abbate’s chamber folk arrangements leant Growing at the Edges a live ensemble feel. With their vast musical vocabularies, Lee’s abstract ideas were made concrete. Other collaborators include guitarist Jonnie Baker (Florist), vocalist Eva Goodman (Nighttime), standup bassist Nick Jost (Wilder Maker, Baroness), and drummer Sean Mullins (Wilder Maker, Sam Evian). Written over the span of five years, the album took root with two artist residencies completed in 2019: one at a former watchtower in Northern Ireland where Lee was commissioned to compose a soundtrack, and another in Gainesville, Florida, both allowing him time and space to experiment, to spontaneously explore, and to live inside his emergent songs.
Lee began writing Growing at the Edges at a creative crossroads, but it led to his most intentional, adventurous, and realised album, a world to enter. In writing, Lee was thinking about areas of life that capitalism deems to be valueless, how the reality of relentless extraction creates what are perceived to be wastelands. He explains:
“We’re at this point in time where there are so many ‘wastelands’ because value has been taken from so many places, so many art forms. I was thinking about the growth that’s happening right on the edge of that wasteland, and how that, to me, is the most beautiful and interesting area. That’s where important things are going to happen.”
Mutual Benefit’s new track Wasteland Companions is out now. The new album Growing at the Edges is out 6 October and is available to pre-order.