Last week I posted about a song titled, “Advanced Falconry” by the band Mutual benefit. The song was off of their new EP Love’s Crushing Diamond. As I said before, “…one listen and you’ll become a fan.” Unsurprisingly, that has happened for me. Now as a fan, I obviously listened to the EP and from what I’ve heard, I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. Now, it would be hard to review this album in a song-by-song format, or to even pick single songs to highlight because each song leads into the next, continuously building into what could be considered one entire musical composition. The first song “Strong River” opens up the album in glorious fashion, painting a picture in the mind of a far off place that still feels familiar. Each song progresses in the same cinematic fashion, building a landscape of memories and emotions in your mind as you listen. Listening to Love’s Crushing Diamond brings to mind some of the older Shins’ material, or even something like Fleet Foxes with a folky-feel combined with the sort of ambiance that creates the perfect music for a road trip. The production on the album is absolutely superb. With as many instruments and vocals as each song encompasses, the chance of a song sounding washed out is always possible. Mutual Benefit gives each instrument it’s proper presence, while never overpowering the next, only complementing it and making the sound more full.
The release of the EP could not be more timely. It’s almost as if you can see the leaves change color and feel the air becoming more crisp as you listen. Each song is perfect for an Autumn afternoon, laying on the green, watching the sky pass by without a care in the world.
What a success for us as listeners to able to make such a connection with the artists. With Love’s Crushing Diamond, we are able to feel what Mutual Benefit felt while they were writing these songs. The happiness, and sometimes heartache, that each person has felt in their lifetime at one point or another. Many artists and bands fail to make that connection, and their songs fall on deaf ears, never really grabbing your attention. This is not the case with Mutual Benefit.
The most interesting thing to me about the album is the amount of attention it has gotten, and with the speed it has gotten there. The EP was released on October 7, and within just days of the release, Mutual Benefit posted that they were beginning to close a record deal. Before this point, the album was able to be streamed via both Soundcloud and YouTube, but as soon as the record deal announcement was made, all content was either pulled or made private. It always brings me joy to watch as a band becomes successful, to leave obscurity behind for a more lofty status. But some people dislike when bands gain notoriety, simply for fear of them losing who they are and “selling out”. I don’t see that in the cards for Mutual Benefit however, and they seem to know who they are and what they want to do with their music. Now with this record deal, they will be able to reach the masses with the beauty of their music.