If we weren’t in Helen Mystic, we’d probably be in Hella Nystic. Helen is our aunt, mystic, and body pillow Our EP sounds like molasses and wind chimes, a neti pot or toast in the morning. But we tell our dates it sounds like James Blake. We rehearse “in Bushwick” and recorded our EP in our living room over a month and three days. We took breaks mainly to play with our Bluntsenburner. We dream of opening for Novelty Daughter and going on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. But if we ever make a music video, it should be shot inside a redwood by Albert Tholen. And if we ever write a song for Wes, it'll be for Wendy and Morton. Or Matt Chilton. If you wanna hear us live you should put your ear to our chest. But if you’re down with the laptop, water the plants and turn off shuffle. Oh and if Tennessee gets internet famous we’ll replace him with Henry Hall dressed in brightly-colored fabrics. PS The best song to make out to is This Whale. But don't bother listening if you're allergic to latex. Oh and the best song to call your mom to is - don't listen to music while you call your mom. She deserves your undivided attention.
LOVE HELEN MYSTIC.
TENNESSEE MOWREY ('14)
MAJOR: Music and East Asian Studies. HOMETOWN: Marin County, CA. SENIOR THESIS: Actualizing Uji Through Composition FAVORITE CLASS: "Advance Solkattu" with David Nelson PRE-2010 WIN: Electric Lily the Marin County preteen heartthrobs. POST-2010 WIN: Sodomized by Angels DAY JOB: Teaching music at the Blue Bear School of Music.
TOBIAS BUTLER ('13)
MAJOR: Music. HOMETOWN: SF, CA. SENIOR THESIS: Tobias' Senior Recital FAVORITE CLASS: "Automata and Formal Languages" with James Lipton PRE-2010 WIN: Writing the soundtrack for my high school's musical. POST-2010 WIN: Playing with Faith. Or getting a shout out from Jason at a Wet Leather show. DAY JOB: Making things louder at http://give.louder.org
ISAAC SILK ('14)
MAJOR: Music. HOMETOWN: West Hartford, CT. SENIOR RECITAL:: From Monophony to Acopolypse FAVORITE CLASS: "Economy of Nature and Nations" with Paul Erickson PRE-2010 WIN: Euro tour with the high school jazz band. POST-2010 WIN: definitely the senior recital. DAY JOB: slicing meat at the Berkeley Bowl and interning at KQED.
I often write about nice boys from Wesleyan. It’s true. There was the DJ remixing in Olin, the ginger tweeting in BedStuy, the grocer dancing in Weshop. This time, however, in the spirit of new beginnings, I’m taking Method on a field trip to the Bay Area. There, farther than any Metro North route, Helen Mystic is out with a debut EP.
You can hear it here:
Sounds like: Brian Eno/Grizzly Bear/Beirut Listen to: Waterfall
Made up of Tobias Butler (‘13), Tennessee Mowrey (‘14) and Isaac Silk (‘14), Helen Mystic emerges after years of friendship. Prior to Wesleyan, Tobias first met Tennessee as a prefosh with a forthcoming “solo album” in the backyard of Mickey Capper’s house. Isaac met the other just two months later in WestCo. Over the course of their four years at Wesleyan, the three boys played everywhere. Just not together. Tobias was in campus favorite Treasure Island, Isaac played in Mad Wow, and Tennessee wore his underwear with Sodonized by Angels, the all-senior-boy punk rock group.
Recorded in their new suburban El Cerrito abode, the new EP relies on a layering of sounds that create an atmospheric soundscape, one that builds track after track. This space is full but off-kilter, a sort of dream world that pulls you in in just four tracks. At the same time, there are the grounding base lines and unexpected gems of solos by percussive instruments. Their lyrics, too, are built on layers. There’s “Josef,” an ode to high school and college dear friend Joey Mehling’s (‘14) moving to Berlin, and “Icarus,” titled after the Greek myth of a disappointing son.
Outside of Helen Mystic, Tobias plays with O Presidente, a band founded around the time he was chaperoning my 7th grade birthday party. The band moved with Tobias and singer Andrew Zingg (‘13) to Wesleyan, but O Presidente’s back in the Bay with an album release and concert on January 10th. Alas, if you’re less into cute humanities major with guitars and more into marriage, call Tennessee. Not only is he good with kids, but he’s also playing weddings with the band Rainbow Rhythm.
To be honest, it’s about time we pay recognition to these three boys. Not only was the ginger front row at most of Tobias’ shows, but when asked, the Weshop grocer even described Isaac as “a really great guy." Plus, that DJ in Olin went to his first Wes party cause of Tobias. For my last Method article for awhile, here's a new EP from three nice guys to listen to.