Until recently, Mansions, a Seattle trio led by songwriter Chris Browder, haven’t released a body of music since 2013’s underground-acclaimed Doom Loop. That change was fast-tracked not long ago, when Browder accidentally dropped a synthesizer on his hard drive, destroying an album that had him stuck on neutral for a while. Shaken up, he and bandmates Robin Dove (bass) and John Momberg (drums) found inspiration and probably a little relief in the loss.
Today, they present Deserter, Mansions’ brand new EP and their first release in four years. “I found that I really enjoyed the freedom of an EP, in that we could take chances without the pressure or commitment of a full-length album,” Browder tells Billboard. “We could chase whatever we wanted without worrying too much if it was the grand statement we wanted to make, and I think that helped the songs come into their own, and push us forward to something different and new.”
After saying goodbye to those lost hard drive demos, Browder injected Mansions’ sound with a substantial dose of synthesizer and heavier, moodier arrangements. “Heel Theme” throbs with electronic laser beams and the synthscapes of “I Feel Worse” cast an alluringly eerie shroud. Still, they return to tender acoustics to close things out on “One of Three.”
“It’s probably our most diverse set of songs, says Browder. “But hopefully there are enough similar themes that it still holds together as a cohesive thing.”
The EP drops officially this Friday (Nov. 3) on Bad Timing Records (pre-order available here) but you can stream the whole thing early, exclusively via Billboard below.