Mutual Benefit is the songwriting moniker of Jordan Lee. A wanderer at heart, Lee has been roaming between rural Ohio and Boston and Austin over the past few years, stopping in basements and living rooms and DIY show spaces along away, playing endearing sets to small groups of similarly idealistic listeners. Lee’s music is driven by his own heartfelt vision, a balance of folksy old-timey elements one might except from a roving storyteller (plucks of banjos, off-kilter homemade percussion), often layered with the sort of electronic elements one might expect from a contemporary experimental pop artist (droning synths, loops of old keyboards).
Lee’s recordings as Mutual Benefit have been sparse, releasing just the occasional small-run tape or split 7-inch, but his voice has resonated in certain corners of the underground. Later this fall, he has a full-length record out, Love’s Crushing Diamond. The first single, “Advanced Falconry,” is below. It’s one of the most gorgeous Mutual Benefit tracks to surface yet, a sprawling, slow pop song marked by long bows of violins, loops of guitar plucks, backing harmonies sung in falsetto. The most immediately engaging element though, is Lee’s lovely voice, both whispery and full of sincerity.