Mutual Benefit - The Cowboy's Prayer
Jordan Lee has spent the last few years bouncing around the indie underground. From Ohio, to Texas, to Boston and Brooklyn, running the wonderful Kassette Klub label, touring with his friends’ bands and leading an amorphous project called Mutual Benefit, a one-man-band or a sprawling collective, depending on where he is and who is around that day.
He released his debut album, ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’, last year, a self-release on cassette that, on the strength of a Bandcamp posting, had blogs blowing up with praise for the record. It became clear that ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’ needed a wider release. Other Music Recording Co. were thrilled to step in, not a moment too soon as the album became the first ever Bandcamp release to be named Pitchfork’s Best New Music, while still almost totally unavailable to a wider audience. Since its release proper in January, Mutual Benefit has been touring the world non-stop.
That brings us to The Cowboy's Prayer, the mini album that marginally preceded ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’, now released for the first time in Europe, as well as the first time on vinyl and CD.
‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’ was based loosely on a road trip Jordan Lee took with a friend to Ohio through upstate New York that happened to correspond with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. They ended up getting stuck in a small town for a couple days, the roads blocked with debris and all around them were families grappling with the loss of all their worldly possessions. “One of the few things open in the whole town that first day was a generator-powered Waffle House.” says Jordan. “I had a bit of a hard time processing all the surreal imagery and, upon returning to Boston, was weirdly struck by a sappy Roy Roger’s clip where he recites ‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’. I adapted it to be somewhat of a personal mantra and it really informed the making of this record along with finally working up the courage to live nomadically for a while.”
‘The Cowboy’s Prayer’ was the real introduction of the lush orchestral folk sound that many first heard on Mutual Benefit’s breakthrough ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’. Listening to it, it’s hard not to adopt Jordan's mantra and get swept away by the beauty.