Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cotton Mather creates 64 mini-pop masterpieces, one for each hexagram of the I Ching, an “extraordinary book about ordinary life,” says mastermind, Robert Harrison.

Latest is part of three-song EP feat. Nicole Atkins, out Dec. 30th. Hear “Faded” via The Bluegrass Situation. Title cut from “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP gets deep dive from Atwood.


Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather as photographed by Valerie Fremin.


Cotton MatherIn The Press

Harrison’s gifts are as strong as ever.” – AllMusic

“An exemplary specimen from Harrison’s seemingly endless collection of instant classics.” – Austin Chronicle

Harrison and his comrades have retained their retro vitality. 8/10.” – Uncut

“Save money on the next (Beatles) reissue and try this colorful extension of their sonic legacy.” – Los Angeles Times

“A record that is not to be missed. Grade: A.” – Goldmine

“Cerebral aspirations grounded in a classicist’s grasp of melody.” – MAGNET



Hear “Faded” from the “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP via The Bluegrass Situation or at the links below!


Texas Monthly kicked off the “Songs From The I Ching” project way back on November 16th, 2015 with this article and the first track premiere!

It didn’t take 15 years for ​​Cotton Mather’s Austin-based main man, ​​Robert Harrison to write the 64 songs (64 songs!) that comprise his latest musical vision: one song for each hexagram (or reading) of the I Ching.  That’s actually the amount of time that has passed since the last full-length album of new ​​Cotton Mather songs was released.

27 tracks from this treasure trove of new tunes, released in “real time and real weather” as ​​Harrison describes this creative process, have already been made available as of December 21st, 2016. These included non-album cuts, the full-length LP Death of The Cool (the band's first in 15 years!), the four-song EP "Girl With A Blue Guitar," and now a three-song release with singer Nicole Atkins that arrives on December 30th, which includes the final version of the song "Faded," previously issues as part of the project with a Harrison vocal only.

“‘Faded’ corresponds to the 64th, or final hexagram of the I Ching. I am writing these songs experientially, not sequentially, and that reading is 64,” Harrison says. “Before ‘Completion/ Not Yet Fulfilled’. Strange right? Logic would suggest that ‘After Completion,’ which is the 63rd hexagram, should wrap things up.  But the I Ching states that disorder and chaos immediately follow ‘After Completion,’ and always precede 1. ‘The Creative’, where it all starts all over again. It’s like moving out of a house where you’ve had a life, and starting over in a new place. At first, everything’s in boxes and you don't know where the light switches are.”

Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather is available for interviews.  Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.



Hear the title track from the “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP and read a comprehensive take on the tune via Atwood Magazine!


Except from the full “Girl With A Blue Guitar” commentary by Robert Harrison which can be found in full here.

“The night before I wrote this song, just before dawn, I dreamt I was lying in my bed, holding and looking at a gold-framed oil painting of my life that looked like a Dutch master. Then suddenly the muted colors on the canvas began to crack and all the paint began flaking off until I was staring at a radiant palace that was washing me in light. I held the frame before me and let the light engulf me. It felt so amazing. My arms began to tremble, and I noticed I was waking up but didn’t want to. I didn’t want this to ever stop! Then my eyes opened to the sight of a drab popcorn ceiling, which I stared at for a while. But that – was a good dream!”


Cotton Mather
“Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
Dec. 30th, 2016

01. Call Me The Witch
02. Faded (STREAM | MP3)
03. Girl Friday


Cotton Mather
“Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
Out Now

01. Fighting Through (STREAM | MP3)
02. Girl With A Blue Guitar (STREAM | MP3)
03. Better Than A Hit
04. I Volunteer


Cotton Mather
Death of The Cool
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
Out Now

Track Listing:

01. The Book of Too Late Changes (STREAM | MP3)
02. Close To The Sun (STREAM | MP3)
03. The Middle of Nowhere
04. Candy Lilac (STREAM | MP3)
05. Life of The Liar (STREAM | MP3)
06. The Land of Flowers
07. Never Be It
08. Queen of Swords
09. Waters Raging
10. Child Bride (STREAM | MP3)
11. The End of DeWitt Finley


“Songs From The I Ching” Master Song List (as of Dec. 21st, 2016)

Hexagram # | Song Title | “I Ching” Hexagram Name | Where Available | Listening Links

#1 | Close To The Sun | The Creative | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM | MP3)
#2 | The Middle of Nowhere | The Receptive | on Death of The Cool
#3 | The Land of Flowers | Beginning | on Death of The Cool
#4 | Child Bride | Youthful Folly | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM | MP3)
#5 | Never Be It | Waiting | on Death of The Cool
#6. Life of the Liar | Contention | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM | MP3)
#7 | The Army | The Army | non-album track | (STREAM)
#8 | Candy Lilac | Union | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM | MP3)
#9 | High Society | Little Accumulation | non-album track | (STREAM)
#11 | California | Advance / Peace | non-album track | (STREAM)
#12 | The End of DeWitt Finley | Standstill | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM)
#13 | The Cotton Mather Pledge | Seeking Harmony/Fellowship Among Men | non-album track | (STREAM)
#14 | “Call Me The Witch | Possession In Great Measure | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
#15 | It’s Better Not To Be The King | Modesty | non-album track | (STREAM)
#16 | Girl Friday | Delight | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
#18 | Shadow The Star | Remedying | non-album track | (STREAM)
#21 | Fighting Through | Biting Through | on “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP | (STREAM | MP3)
#22 | White Gold | Adornment | non-album track | (STREAM | MP3)
#23 | Queen of Swords | Falling Away | on Death of The Cool
#24. The Book of Too Late Changes | The Return | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM | MP3)
#25. I Volunteer | Without Falsehood | on “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP
#28 | Carnival Off My Back | Great Exceeding | non-album track | (STREAM)
#29 | Waters Raging | The Abysmal | on Death of The Cool
#37 | King William | The Household | non-album track | (STREAM)
#44. Better Than A Hit | Encountering | on “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP
#52 | Way of The Samurai | Keeping Still/The Mountain | non-album track | (STREAM)
#53. Girl With A Blue Guitar | Gradual Progress | on “Girl With A Blue Guitar” EP | (STREAM | MP3)
#56 | Hijinx Dad | The Wanderer | non-album track | (STREAM)
#64. Faded | Before Completion/Not Yet Fulfilled | non-album track (Robert Harrison vocal version) | (STREAM | MP3)

#64. Faded | Before Completion/Not Yet Fulfilled | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP | (STREAM | MP3)


Kontiki gave me something to shoot for.” – Britt Daniel (Spoon)

“The best record I’ve heard in ten years.” – Noel Gallagher (Oasis)

“100 Great Albums You’ve Never Heard” (#2) – NME


Cotton Mather’s 1997 album Kontiki was reissued on CD in 2012 with a bonus disc of demos.

Now, with renewed interest in the band, and this underground classic, Kontiki has been released on vinyl for the first time along with a bonus 7-inch, limited to 300 copies, containing two Cotton Mather tracks (“I’ll Be Gone,” and “Animal Show”) that were previously only available on a now out-of-print single.

Cotton Mather released its debut album Cotton Is King in 1994, but it was Kontiki, famously recorded on four-track cassette and released in 1997, that drew praise from critics and rock-stars alike, so much so in the UK that many thought the band originated there.

Uncut gave Kontiki five stars calling the record “music to smile yourself to death to.” Mojo said the songs were “brought to life with daring vitality,” and in its own five-star review, The Guardian called Kontiki “a bewildering, dizzy thrill.”


Cotton Mather Links


Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion

No comments: