Mike Gordon has shared a new song, “Mull,” from his upcoming sixth solo album, Flying Games. “Mull” is streaming now at all DSPs. Flying Games was produced by Gordon, recorded by longtime collaborator Jared Slomoff, and mixed by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs). It arrives via ATO Records/Megaplum on Friday, May 12. Pre-orders are available now.
“’Mull’ is a tribute to how indecisive I used to be, though maybe I still am, or maybe I’m not so much anymore?” says Gordon. “This song is for anyone who likes to bask in states of limbo.”
LISTEN TO “MULL”
PRE-ORDER FLYING GAMES
A prime example of the unbounded creativity that fueled all of Flying Games, “Mull,” a song that Phish has had in its live set for nearly two years, came to life through a series of free-flowing but highly intentional musical experiments. After guitarist Scott Murawski urged Gordon to write a harder-hitting rock song, he laid down a demo he soon adorned with such details as the industrial-edged beats he’d built by banging wrenches on tractors in his garage. But when it came time for the mixing process for “Mull,” Everett completely restructured the song by analyzing the architecture of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.”
“‘Higher Ground’ has nothing to do with ‘Mull,’ but Shawn used it as a reference for organizing the tracks or cueing certain instruments,” continues Gordon. “He’s a real visionary and has so many ways of pulling himself out of his comfort zone, which all ties into my overall goal of creating a very unique layering of sounds.”
As they reassembled the song, the musicians added in frenetic guitar work, merry-go-round-esque organ melodies, and Theremin-like synth tones — a potent backdrop to Gordon’s ruminations on some of the more challenging aspects of human connection.
“I’ve gotten more decisive as I’ve gotten older, but this song is partly about being wish-washy in situations where you’re not sure how to deal with someone who’s frustrating you,” he says. “It’s also got that moment of elation when you realize you actually don’t need that person, and you can go ahead and move on with your life.”
Flying Games was heralded last month with the premiere of the high-velocity single, “Tilting.” An official animated video is streaming on YouTube.
LISTEN TO “TILTING”
Gordon will celebrate Flying Games with a wide-ranging live run that includes both headline shows and top-billed festival performances. Dates get underway June 15 at Portland, ME’s State Theatre and then culminate with a home state tour finale at Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground Ballroom on July 2. Tickets for all newly announced headline dates go on sale Friday, March 17. Pre-sales are available now. For complete details and ticket information, please visit mike-gordon.com/tour.
MIKE GORDON – TOUR 2023
15 – Portland, ME – State Theatre,
16 – Swanzey, NH – Northlands Music Festival *
17 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
18 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
20 – Covington, KY – Madison Theater
21 – Kalamazoo, MI – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
23 – Eau Claire, WI – Blue Ox Music Festival *
24 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
25 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
27 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
28 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue
30 – Millvale, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
1 – Scranton, PA – Peach Music Festival *
2 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Ballroom
* FESTIVAL APPEARANCE
The sixth solo LP from Mike Gordon, Flying Games is an album of constant and wildly hypnotic movement, each moment animated by unexpected sounds that morph and expand and spin off into their own strange orbits. In keeping with the eclectic sensibilities that informed past work like 2017’s pop-fueled OGOGO and 2020’s Noon (a collaborative album made with acoustic guitar luminary Leo Kottke), the new LP imbues elements of everything from disco and dancehall to psych-folk and funk into Gordon’s unfettered and expansive breed of rock music. To create such a mesmerizing body of work, the Vermont-based musician spent long months – including much of 2020’s lockdown – writing and recording in his makeshift Megaplum home studio, immersing himself in sonic experiments ranging from the playfully spontaneous (constructing beats by banging wrenches against various pieces of farming equipment) to the hyper-specific and technical (programming a keyboard with chords sampled from’50s-era Hawaiian guitar records). As the songs became more fully formed, Gordon brought in contributions from his bandmates, drummer John Kimock, keyboardist Robert Walter, percussionist Craig Myers, and guitarist/pedal-steel player Scott Murawski, all of whom submitted parts from afar which were then woven by Gordon and Slomoff into the initial tracks. Revealing entirely new dimensions of the kaleidoscopic musicianship Gordon has displayed as Phish’s bassist for the last four decades, the result is a work of both extraordinary vision and daring execution.
“As someone who comes from a world of telepathic improvisation, the idea of one person layering sounds alone in a room might seem a bit against the mythos,” says Gordon. “But with this record I didn’t want to work in that traditional way of going into a studio with a band and recording for two weeks; I wanted to take my time and explore, and really go deep into the fabric of the music to see what we could find.”
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