It is hard to believe, but it has been three years since Mutual Benefit entered the wider public consciousness with the rather splendid Love’s Crushing Diamond. Before this, Jordan Lee, the architect of Mutual Benefit, had released 5 records in 2 years. As a result, Skip A Sinking Stone hasn’t quite come from out of nowhere, and offer quite the same exquisite punch as its predecessor Love’s Crushing Diamond. This album is a sweet follow up of 12 low key tracks with big hearts and it feels like a band with a charm both unique and informed by all its heroes.
The album opens with a fairytale instrumental. ‘Madrugada’ is the Spanish for early morning, and the track really feels like a day being born, like the gates of Wonderland being opened in front of us. It’s hard not to want more, as this gives way to ‘Skipping Stones.’ The album doesn’t really dip at all. The songs all reside within a typical American lo-fi pool, with beautiful melodies and instrumentation that only ever serves to add to the general ambience of each track.
Mutual Benefit just like such bands as Villagers live on the cusp of popular music, never deliberately making music for radio and mass appeal, and in ploughing the earth they so obviously love something wonderful has grown as a result. It’s a record to sit back and relax to, a magnificent way to spend 40 minutes of any day, close to ever so quietly blowing your mind.