“Like hot, shiny Raspberries fortified with the elevated argument of Squeeze and Attractions-era Elvis Costello.” — Rolling Stone on “The Cotton Mather Pledge”
Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather as photographed by Valerie Fremin.
See Cotton Mather live in Austin, TX on Weds., May 24th!
KUTX 98.9 Presents @ 3Ten Austin City Limits Live (w/ Wireteree, Slowmo Drags) (TICKETS)
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Texas Monthly kicked off the “Songs From The I Ching” project on November 16th, 2015. Read about it here.
“One thing I’ve always liked about Cotton Mather music is that it’s always winking at you.” – Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather
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.”
Now, in what seems like the passing of just 15 minutes, Cotton Mather released Wild Kingdom on April 7th, and it has quickly been hailed as some of the best work of the band’s career with the Austin Chronicle being one to comment that “The ability to take personal obsessions and make them accessible defines great artists. Cotton Mather wears that mark proudly.” Paste says, “Smart melodies and lyrics makes Wild Kingdom a satisfying listen: heady, catchy, fun,” and Popmatters insists, “Trust us, everything this band touches is gold.”
Wild Kingdom 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.
Harrison and company will return to the studio soon to continue work on the project following a headlining appearance presented by KUTX 98.9 at 3Ten Austin City Limits Live on May 24th, which follows-up the band’s triumphant set supporting Spoon at SXSW this past March. Tickets available here.
“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.
Wild Kingdom, the latest album by Cotton Mather, is out now, and comprises 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)
10. The Army
11. I Volunteer
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
“Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
(The Star Apple Kingdom)
03. Girl Friday
“Songs From The I Ching” Master Song List (as of May 9th, 2017)
Just added! The acoustic demo of the Death of The Cool track “The Land of Flowers”
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 | (SOUNDCLOUD)
#7 | The Army | The Army | on Wild Kingdom
#13 | The Cotton Mather Pledge | Seeking Harmony/Fellowship Among Men | on Wild Kingdom | (SOUNDCLOUD | SPOTIFY | MP3)
#14 | Call Me The Witch | Possession In Great Measure | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP (SOUNDCLOUD | SPOTIFY)
#16 | Girl Friday | Delight | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP
#18 | Shadow The Star | Remedying | non-album track | (SOUNDCLOUD)
#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 | (SOUNDCLOUD | SPOTIFY | MP3)
#25. I Volunteer | Without Falsehood | on Wild Kingdom
#28 | Carnival Off My Back | Great Exceeding | non-album track | (SOUNDCLOUD)
#29 | Waters Raging | The Abysmal | on Death of The Cool
#52 | Way of The Samurai | Keeping Still/The Mountain | non-album track | (SOUNDCLOUD)
#64. Faded | Before Completion/Not Yet Fulfilled | non-album track (Robert Harrison vocal version) | (SOUNDCLOUD | MP3)
#64. Faded | Before Completion/Not Yet Fulfilled | on “Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins” EP | (SOUNDCLOUD | SPOTIFY | MP3)
Cotton Mather Links
Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion