I first met Jordan Lee at Mutual Benefit’s San Francisco debut at The Milk Bar in 2011, when he performed alongside Holy Spirits, Phantom Kicks, and Steffaloo. The show was presented by Father/Daughter Records and See The Leaves, and featured an unparalleled visual backdrop by Think or Smile. Lee’s kind, mild-mannered demeanor and self-deprecating sense of humor put a very human face behind Mutual Benefit’s early Bandcamp recordings, in a surreal collision of the “blogosphere” and the tangible world.
Fast-forward to present day, and Mutual Benefit is becoming a household name in the world of independent music, thanks to glowing reviews for his proper album debut Love’s Crushing Diamond (out now on Other Music Recording Co). Jordan Lee has been recording music as Mutual Benefit and releasing tapes on his own label, Kassette Klub, since 2009. Ripe with field recordings, experimental instrumentation, airy vocals and heartfelt lyrics, Lee’s artistic vision has altered the very foundation of modern folk music. While his songwriting has always been deeply affecting, it seems that his expansive, orchestral folk-pop vision has finally become fully realized on his latest release.
I’m glad someone was paying attention, as the success of Mutual Benefit’s full-length debut has launched a winter US tour that includes a forthcoming full-band performance at Rickshaw Stop this Saturday alongside Dim Peaks and Dan Casey’s eponymous acoustic band. Nevermind the fact that Lee has moved around between Ohio, Austin, Boston, and Brooklyn; this Saturday, he’s with us.
Mutual Benefit, Dan Casey, Dim Peaks
January 25, 2014