Mutual Benefit – Thunder Follows The Light

Sheer bliss for anyone who needs to unwind.
Label: Transgressive
Released: 21st September 2018
Rating: ★★★

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordan Lee’s latest album under his Mutual Benefit moniker is one of the most chilled out things you’ll find outside of Iceland’s freezer section. It ebbs and flows so peacefully that you’ll find it hard to focus on anything else, becoming utterly enraptured by the oh-so-sweet sounds that prevail from the first note to the last.

Lee claims the album ‘contemplates the ongoing destruction of the outer world’, yet once you press play it feels as though everything else disappears completely and you’re left alone to close your eyes and drift off to a mystical, familiar land filled with thriving wildlife, soothing river sounds and more acoustic guitar than you thought you’d like on a tropical retreat. ‘Come To Pass’ is particularly breathtaking and portrays the album’s simple yet powerful style perfectly, while the likes of ‘New History’ and ‘Stormcellar Heart’ have memorable, effortlessly suave refrains that carry the album as it rambles along as pleasantly as a coastal walk with a well-behaved canine companion by your side.

Nine albums in and still managing to write songs that captivate the mind, Lee’s talent is in creating songs that feel like they’re offering up a supportive arm around the shoulder with their warmth visible to the naked eye from at least 50 paces. In a world full of seemingly endless bad news and with no real light on the horizon, it’s great to be able to ease into a world of harmonicas, slide guitars and a spirit of music from a lee overwhelming time.

A more calming influence you’ll not encounter in your headphones this year. If you ever need to take a step back, switch off and distract yourself from the miserable goings-on of today, this is the way to go. Sheer bliss for anyone who needs to unwind.

Ciaran Steward

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