Fire Track: Mercury Rev – “Patterns”

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Legendary American rock band Mercury Rev has announced their brand new studio album Born Horses due out September 6 via Bella Union. The iconic psychedelic rock band has been revered for their experimental artistry and challenging the status quo throughout their career. The new collection is a glistening psych-jazz-folk-baroque-ambient quest highlighting the band’s sophisticated instrumentation, met with heroic indie rock chops and offering a fresh new poetic perspective. With the announcement comes lead single “Patterns” alongside an official video. Commenting on the track the band shares, “When we gaze up at the stars in the sky at night, the flickering lights seem random. If we could zoom out and see all of the galaxies revolving around each other, we would see the order in it. There are only Patterns on top of Patterns…”

Born Horses is vocally inspired by the spirits of art minimalist Tony Conrad (LaMonte Young’s Dream Syndicate w/ John Cale and a close friend to The Velvet Underground) and beat poet Robert Creeley (one of the most influential American poets of the 20th century and an associate of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the Black Mountain poets), acolytes of progressive thought and action who both taught at the University at Buffalo, the city where the band was formed.

The album title, named after the majestically rippling sixth track “Born Horses”, was chosen because its words resonate through the entire record, encompassing the idea of flight (“I dreamed we were born horses waiting for wings”) and the phrase “You and I” that appears at different junctures on the album. This is not the concept of two separate people, but two parts of oneself.  

Grasshopper reflects, “When Jonathan and I first met, one thing we bonded over was Blade Runner, both Ridley Scott’s film and Vangelis’ soundtrack: that feel of the past and the future, the haunting noir mood and the romance of the future…Born Horses taps into some of that. Looking back to childhood, to Broadway tunes, to lonesome blues, Chet Baker, Miles Davis’ Sketches Of Spain, records that our parents listened to, but we put a twist into the future. From the beginning, Mercury Rev were on a cusp, between analogue and digital, hi-fi and lo-fi at the same time. It was like Brecht or Weill, the words suggesting visuals, and the visuals suggesting moods. We also thought a lot about the desert on this record, and the urban desert.”

Jonathan Donahue also shares, “Since our beginning in the mid 80’s with David Baker through the recording of Born Horses with new permanent members, Woodstock native (pianist) Jesse Chandler and Austrian born (keyboardist) Marion Genser, we’ve celebrated this unspoken trust in the ‘statue already inside the marble’. We didn’t make Born Horses by throwing clay on top of clay; we allowed Time to reveal what was always there.”

Born Horses album pre-order

Fire Note Staff

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