Band scheduled to support Spoon at SXSW on March 15th, among additional performances. Hear new single “Better Than A Hit” via Popmatters now.
Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather as photographed by Valerie Fremin.
Cotton Mather – Live at SXSW
3/11/2017: Austin, TX Second Play Stage @ Sheraton Hotel (SXSW, 7PM, Acoustic)
3/15/2017: Austin, TX @ The Main (SXSW, 11PM, supporting Spoon)
3/16/2017: Austin, TX Rajiworld Showcase @ Palm Door (SXSW, 12AM)
3/18/2017: Austin, TX @ Yard Dog (SXSW, 1510 S. Congress)
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“Trust us, everything this band touches is gold,” says Popmatters of “Better Than A Hit” by Cotton Mather.
Cotton Mather – In The Press
“Its first album in 15 years, is nothing short of a triumph. #9 Austin album of 2016.” — Austin Monthly
“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
“One thing I’ve always liked about Cotton Mather music is that it’s always winking at you. This record has that quality.” – Robert Harrison
It took 15 years for Cotton Mather to return with 2016’s Death of The Cool (released July 19th, 2016), the first collection of songs compiled from band leader Robert Harrison’s ambitious, possibly impossible aim to write 64 songs, one for each hexagram of the I Ching, the ancient text which he refers to as an “extraordinary book about ordinary life.” Texas Monthly kicked off the “Songs From The I Ching” project on November 16th, 2015. Read about it here.
Now, in what seems like the passing of just 15 minutes, Cotton Mather will release Wild Kingdom on April 7th, 2017. The album brings together another 11 tracks, following up the 11-song Death of The Cool, and the three-track “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP (released December 30th, 2016), that are both also a part of the I Ching song cycle.
To date, 30 of the “Songs From The I Ching” have been released. Listen to 25 here.
“Wild Kingdom is more a change of season than scenery,” Harrison states. “While I was writing the first half of the I Ching project, I tended to circle the songs with a requisite richness and gravity because I thought it important to do something for the first release in fifteen years that we never could have done before. Otherwise, what’s the point ‘Relatively obscure indie cult band reunites to demonstrate that maybe going away the first time was just a fine idea?’ Uh, no thank you. You have to get better!”
“Kontiki gave me something to shoot for,” Spoon leader Britt Daniel once said of Cotton Mather’s 1997 underground classic album. In addition to praise from musicians, the record was especially loved by the UK press, with both Uncut and The Guardian awarding it five-star ratings. Like the instantly memorable pop songs that made (and make) Kontiki influential – a two-disc reissue released in 2012 received similar praise all over again, and Kontiki was also finally released on vinyl at the end of 2016 – Wild Kingdom continues in the Robert Harrison tradition of impeccable song craft that doesn’t ever let up on the hooks, or the winking.
Wild Kingdom, the latest album by Cotton Mather, arrives on April 7th, 2017 containing 11 tracks comprising another portion of the 64-track “Songs From The I Ching” project that also includes the 11-song Death of The Cool album (released July 19th, 2016) and the three-track “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” (released December 30th, 2016.)
Visit ichingsongs.com to read Robert Harrison’s in-depth song commentaries explaining the relationship between each individual track and the I Ching hexagram it is based on.
Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
April 7th, 2017
01. The Cotton Mather Pledge (STREAM)
03. High Society (STREAM)
04. Hijinks Dad (STREAM)
06. King William (STREAM)
07. California (STREAM)
09. It's Better Not To Be The King (STREAM)
10. The Army
11. I Volunteer
“Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
01. Call Me The Witch
03. Girl Friday
Death of The Cool
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
03. The Middle of Nowhere
06. The Land of Flowers
07. Never Be It
08. Queen of Swords
09. Waters Raging
11. The End of DeWitt Finley
“Songs From The I Ching” Master Song List (as of March 10th, 2017)
Hexagram # | Song Title | “I Ching” Hexagram Name | Where Available | Listening Links
#2 | The Middle of Nowhere | The Receptive | on Death of The Cool
#3 | The Land of Flowers | Beginning | on Death of The Cool
#5 | Never Be It | Waiting | on Death of The Cool
#7 | The Army (Acoustic Version) | The Army | non-album track | (STREAM)
#7 | The Army | The Army | on Wild Kingdom
#9 | High Society | Little Accumulation | on Wild Kingdom | (STREAM)
#11 | California | Advance / Peace | on Wild Kingdom | (STREAM)
#12 | The End of DeWitt Finley | Standstill | on Death of The Cool | (STREAM)
#13 | The Cotton Mather Pledge | Seeking Harmony/Fellowship Among Men | on Wild Kingdom | (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 | on Wild Kingdom | (STREAM)
#16 | Girl Friday | Delight | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
#18 | Shadow The Star | Remedying | non-album track | (STREAM)
#23 | Queen of Swords | Falling Away | on Death of The Cool
#25. I Volunteer | Without Falsehood | on Wild Kingdom
#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 | on Wild Kingdom | (STREAM)
#52 | Way of The Samurai | Keeping Still/The Mountain | non-album track | (STREAM)
#56 | Hijinks Dad | The Wanderer | on Wild Kingdom | (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)
Cotton Mather Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion