Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee has always sounded like he is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of some midwestern pasture, his music a semi-annual bloom. If you close your eyes and listen to his new record, Skip A Sinking Stone, you can hear the crack of branches and feel a breeze nip at the back of your neck.
But whether his music is perfectly idyllic or bucolic isn’t necessarily the point of Mutual Benefit’s music–he’s always been more concerned with the scale of individual gestures: the slivers of light and fallen leaves that are often overlooked but enormously important. If you ever look at a field as you are driving by it on the highway, never do you pick a focal point and try to just see an individual plant or it’s leaves. Highlighting these muted moments and obscured images is what Mutual Benefit does best. A bigger picture is merely an amalgamation of subtleties, after all.
For his Nerdist mix, Jordan focused on the micro-scale as well. During his tour he tried to tend to a single houseplant, watering it when he could, in between shows. “In between tours I was trying to keep my one plant alive,” the musician explained to us. “Although I was ultimately unsuccessful I wanted to make an ode to my lil green friend.” While his little plant didn’t make it, it will be memorialized forever in his playlist below, which is appropriately titled, “Don’t Die On Me: Songs For My Houseplant.” Featuring in-theme tracks from The Carter Family, The Rolling Stones, and Mirah, the playlist spotlights the important things that might fly under your radar. Check it out below.
Image: Mutual Benefit
Matt Grosinger is the music editor of Nerdist and thinks Mutual Benefit is the best. Check out his music here.