Mansions Premieres “Brain Fog” via Uproxx
Deserter EP Out November 3rd on
Bad Timing Records
1. Heel Theme
2. High Numbers
3. I Feel Worse
4. No Shows
5. Brain Fog
6. One Of Three
For Mansions frontman Christopher Browder, inspiration literally fell into his lap—and onto his laptop.“I was writing more guitar-based rock songs for a while, and then I had a synthesizer fall on my laptop and destroy my hard drive,” he says. “It felt a little symbolic that a synthesizer would ruin all my demos. It would have cost a few grand to recover the hard drive, and I thought, ‘OK, how good are these songs? Are they worth it to me?’”
Browder’s synth mishap ultimately became the catalyst for Mansions’ new EP, Deserter, due out November 3rd on Bad Timing Records. Deserter is the first new music for the Seattle-based trio—Browder, bassist Robin Dove, and drummer John Momberg—in almost four years, and it follows a pair of beloved albums, 2011’s Dig Up The Dead and 2013’s Doom Loop, that have endeared themselves to an army of passionate underground fans.
Musically, the six-song Deserter marks a bold new chapter for Mansions. After his original plans were smashed, Browder took a step back and looked at the project he founded in 2007 from a new perspective. Not only did starting from scratch force him to think about the band he wanted Mansions to be, but it also challenged him to consider a new approach to songwriting. That meant putting down the guitar and picking up the synthesizer.
“The struggle for anyone who’s been writing songs is you know all your little tricks,” he says. “It’s hard to feel excited about things, so personally I’m always trying to trick myself into making things feel new, whether that’s lyrically or the instruments I’m writing on. So writing on synth was a challenge.”
True to his intent, the songs on Deserter are the most eclectic in the Mansions catalog to date. “Heel Theme,” with its pulsating peaks and valleys, retains much of the fuzzed-out rock sound the band drilled down on Doom Loop, but with a newly imbued anthemic quality. And when they play with negative space on songs like “I Feel Worse” and “Brain Fog” and open up an array of new layers and textures in the process, it makes the EP-closing “One Of Three”—just Browder and an acoustic guitar—resonate that much clearer.
But for all the sonic differences here, Deserter operates off the same heart that’s been at the root of Mansions since the beginning—the same honesty that has made Dig Up The Dead and Doom Loop modern cult classics. It’s proof that some things never change.
“It was important to give the songs time to breathe and give ourselves time to figure out what we wanted to do,” Browder says. “I have no idea what people are going to think about these songs, but I’m really eager for them to hear them. I think about songs that I might have thought I wanted to put out a couple of years ago, and I’m glad I didn’t. ”