Mute Duo set to release new album, Migrant Flocks, in April

There’s exciting news from Chicago’s Mute Duo, who are set to release a third album, following 2020’s Lapse in Passage, which was one of our Album Picks of the year. Entitled Migrant Flocks, the album will see the light of day on April 14th through American Dreams. The upcoming album encapsulates the power and energy that permeates their live shows, and as the press release describes, it “traverses across pastoral and urban sonic landscapes”.

On the record, the necessity of migration, whether in humans, cetaceans or birds, is explored as a theme by the duo of pedal steel guitarist Sam Wagster and drummer Skyler Rowe. “Migration is something you can’t help,” says Rowe. “You can’t help how things are constantly moving or evolving. You have to change with it.” Wagster adds, “In terms of human movement, the different motives for migration came to mind: people fleeing an increasingly hostile climate or hostile political circumstances; people leaving home for a chance at a better economic situation; or—as is the case for both of us—a cultural migration, where one is drawn away from where they grew up by creative sounds, ideas and the opportunity to participate in a progressive artistic community.”

In addition to their core instruments, Wagster and Rowe incorporated other instruments namely vibraphone and piano from Rowe, and organ, drum machine and programming from Wagster.

The announcement comes alongside single ‘Night Guides’, a gripping and fierce first taste. Take a listen now.

Mute Duo set to release second album, Lapse in Passage, in March

We weren’t familiar with Chicago’s Mute Duo, made up of Skyler Rowe (drums/percussion) and Sam Wagster (pedal steel), but they caught our ears on first listen, with their experimental, immersive and mighty sounds, melding ambient and free jazz with a touch of country. The pair released their first album in 2017, and a follow-up has been announced for release in 2020. Entitled Lapse in Passage, the album “is an ode to Chicago’s strong, supportive experimental scene”, describes the press release, “but it’s also a love song to community at a much smaller scale – that of two people sharing space, cherishing it, and brandishing their hope through act of creation.”

We’ll have to wait until March 20th for the record to drop through American Dreams Records but we can already hear the monumental first single ‘Canopy Bells’, clocking in at over 8 minutes. It starts gently, drawing you in and wrapping you up before erupting into an explosive and triumphant climax. If ‘Canopy Bells’ is anything to go by, we just can’t for March to come.