Mutual Benefit's most fleshed-out recording has been gaining critical momentum for good reason: it's warm, gentle and atmospheric - very of the moment. Playing with the listener's expectations of the singer/songwriter tradition, Jordan Lee draws liberally from both indie folk and folktronica.
The initial soundscapey clamour gives way to more rooted, introspective fare on Golden Wake, and the album improves as it goes on, with symphony violinist Jake Falby shining in counterpoint to warm electric guitar parts on Advanced Falconry, where you also hear the full power of Lee's pretty tenor and the band's organic rhythms.
The record is full of earnest female backup vocals and frequent reminders (like wind chimes all over the place) that the music is homemade. Yet like a lot of modern folk, the songwriting sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Not so, thankfully, on "Let's Play"/Statue Of A Man, a surprisingly bucolic urban train song that reels the listener in.
Top track: Advanced Falconry
Mutual Benefit plays the Drake Wednesday, January 15.