Today, Dan Deacon releases “Become A Mountain,” a new single/video from Mystic Familiar, his forthcoming album out January 31st on Domino. Following lead single “Sat By A Tree,” “an energetic bed of sonic bliss” (Paste), album opener “Become A Mountain” is a startlingly vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals. For the first time ever on record, Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal, all-acoustic accompaniment. Its animated video was created by Spain-based studio Rapapawn.
“During the 4 years over which I composed the songs that became Mystic Familiar, I began going to therapy and started a meditation practice. I felt raw and vulnerable while making this album, and I wanted the music to reflect that.
Like many people who’ve been in a dark mindset for a long time, self-compassion and non-judgmental thinking were a real challenge for me, entirely new habits that needed to be learned basically from scratch. When I would try to embrace having positive thoughts, they didn’t feel like my own, but rather another entity’s thoughts trying to speak to me. While writing, I began thinking of these thoughts as a Mystic Familiar (my own personal supernatural companion) trying to communicate with me. Externalizing the thoughts made them easier to fully realize and reflect upon.
The lyrics in ‘Become A Mountain’ lay out the framework for the album’s overall concept: a Narrator and their Mystic Familiar. Our Narrator, in the opening verse and choruses, is trying to learn how to be self-compassionate, to live a life in the present while being able to deal with self-doubt and anxiety in a lifetime of great flux and foundational transformations. Meanwhile, our Mystic Familiar, in verse two and the pre-choruses, tries to help guide the transformations of our narrator through mantras coaxing me to be present in the now, even while also being an element of chaos itself.”
Since 2015’s Gliss Riffer, Deacon has scored eight films – including recently-released HBO Documentary, Well Groomed, and ESPN Films 30 for 30 Short “Subject to Review,” collaborated with the NYC Ballet’s resident choreographer Justin Peck on The Times Are Racing, which will be performed again in February by Chicago’s prestigious Joffrey Ballet, and performed expanded arrangements of his music with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. These collaborations have had a great impact on Mystic Familiar.
In support of Mystic Familiar, Deacon will embark on a lengthy North American tour, starting next month. He will be joined by Ed Schrader’s Music Beat on tour for the first time ever. To celebrate its release, Deacon will be in-store at Rough Trade East, London for a special on-stage Mystic Familiar masterclass and album signing (more info can be found here). Additionally, Dan will be appearing on NPR’s live puzzle and pop culture show, Ask Me Another. This will be recorded live at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Feb. 19th, tickets can be purchased here. A full list of dates can be found below and all tickets are on sale now.