Mutual Benefit – Love’s Crushing Diamond

Justin Perich Mutual BenefitLove’s Crushing Diamond – Mutual Benefit’s debut LP is a small but gorgeous collection of seven baroque-folk songs full of love, warmth, and hope. Reminiscent of Animal Collective, Polyphonic Spree, and Sufjan Stevens, the tracks make their way breezily from noise into pleasant melodies and back again, feeling like a group of friends making beautiful music on a lazy Sunday. Of particular note are “Advanced Falconry,” an inspired rendering of new love laced with banjo, and “Let’s Play/Statue of a Man,” a softly driven road song about what lasts and what is fleeting. There’s a moment at the end of the latter song where the music fades away and we hear two voices laughing with glee for some unknown reason. Not only does this moment feel genuine, but it perfectly encapsulates everything that works about this record. Mutual Benefit has something, even if we can’t exactly put our finger on what it is, that is in short supply these days, something worth shouting about, and I for one am I excited to hear what they’ll put out next. 4/5 stars.