Mutual Benefit (real name: Jordan Lee) has been perfecting the art of gentle whispers, of quiet hums, of making a planned moment sound serendipitous, like a stroke of luck or a bolt of lightning, since his 2013 debut LP Love's Crushing Diamond. His sophomore album, Skip a Sinking Stone (2016), was even more delicate and organic. Lee has consistently left himself even larger shoes to fill with each release, but his newest album Thunder Follows the Light, released via Transgressive Records on September 21, just proves he's still up to the challenge. Mutual Benefit is currently touring the UK, which will bleed into a US tour in November.
Lee's music has always been very influenced by nature, and Thunder is no exception, especially with song titles like "Waves, Breaking," "Mountain's Shadow," "Nightingale" and "Thunder Follows." Once again, both the lyrics and the arrangements channel the organic and intricate, fluttering like butterfly's wings and dripping like raindrops. However, he does break out of his shell in moments like "No Dominion," where he lets his vocals rise above his arrangements, resulting in a chorus ("Say, say, say you will brave the storms that rage in you still") that is nothing short of absolutely beautiful. With this album, Mutual Benefit has captured the feeling of stepping outside after a summer shower and basking in the incoming sunlight, breathing in the fresh air, and feeling the humidity break. He's convinced us once again that when you call out into the universe that maybe, just maybe, it might whisper back.