Dan Deacon announces new album 'Mystic Familiar' out January 31st, shares lead single & video "Sat By A Tree"

Dan Deacon announces new album 'Mystic Familiar' out January 31st, shares lead single & video "Sat By A Tree"

Dan Deacon announces Mystic Familiar, his new album out January 31st on Domino, lead single/video “Sat By A Tree,” and an extensive tour with North American, UK, and European dates.


With Mystic Familiar, Dan gives us the result of years of obsessive work, play, and self-discovery. It’s at once his most emotionally open record and his most transcendent, 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop that exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability.

Mystic Familiar takes a propulsive leap with the robot-performed drums and soaring melodies of “Sat By a Tree.” Lyrically, the song conjures campfire reflections on key memories with the hard-won clarity of time, a dialogue with an anthropomorphic tree on chilling out, and befores and afters of life and death.

The video, directed by Daren Rabinovitch of film and animation studio Encyclopedia Pictura and starring comedian Aparna Nancherla, uses natural world elements, vivid colors, and a cartoon-like aesthetic to reflect on time and the precious shortness of life (not for those with an aversion to bugs).

Director Daren Rabinovitch of Encyclopedia on the “Sat By A Tree” video:
“Our film echoes the buzzing energy of Dan’s music by capturing the time lapse activity of flesh-eating beetles. We worked with comedian Aparna Nancharla to create a protagonist who watches with strange bemusement as their body is broken down into compost by thousands of insects. Dancing playfully around the song’s themes of death and decay, the underlying message is that openness towards mortality can make it more possible to enjoy this precious life."

Dan Deacon on the “Sat By A Tree" video: 
"Daren's video shows an amplified life cycle that mirrors the themes often found in my music—seeing one life's ending not as a tragedy but as the prelude to another life's story can help us face our own mortality. I see the video more as a prequel to the life of a plant rather than the death of the person in the video. It was also amazing working with Aparna! I'm a huge fan of her work and knew her comedic genius would bring a levity to the subject matter."


Since 2015’s Gliss Riffer, Deacon has branched out into an array of collaborative projects including film scores to Rat Film, HBO’s Well Groomed, ESPN’s 30 for 30: Subject to Review; collaborating with the NYCBallet’s resident choreographer Justin Peck, LAPhil and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

While fulfilling, these projects lacked Dan’s singing voice. In the midst of that whirlwind of activity, he returned whenever he could to a personal oasis⁠—the songs that would become Mystic Familiar, informed by all these collaborations but built from within. Deacon’s writing took an exploratory new direction developed with therapeutic practices of self-compassion and mindfulness, daily prompts from Brian Eno’s deck of Oblique Strategies and the use of meditation. These techniques produced songs that paint life as a psychedelic journey brimming with bliss and disruption, darkness and light.

It’s a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and modulations. This voice-focused album is also the first record in which each song was built around one central concept—the Mystic Familiar, a supernatural other being that we carry with us everywhere in our head, which only we can hear and with whom we live our lives in eternal conversation.  

Mystic Familiar is available to pre-order on CD, limited edition silver colored vinyl, and limited edition silver colored cassette now through Domino.

Dan Deacon Mystic Familiar

Album | 31st January 2020

Dan Deacon’s most emotionally open and transcendent record, Mystic Familiar’s 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability. It’s the first album where Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal accompaniment; a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals. 

Tracklisting

  • 1Become a Mountain
  • 2Hypnagogic
  • 3Sat By A Tree
  • 4Arp I: Wide Eyed
  • 5Arp II: Float Away
  • 6Arp III: Far From Shore
  • 7Arp IV: Any Moment
  • 8Weeping Birch
  • 9Fell Into the Ocean
  • 10My Friend
  • 11Bumble Bee Crown King

Dan Deacon Mystic Familiar

Album | 31st January 2020

Dan Deacon’s most emotionally open and transcendent record, Mystic Familiar’s 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability. It’s the first album where Deacon presents his natural singing voice, unprocessed and with only minimal accompaniment; a vulnerable shift in a songbook abundant with characters, metaphors, and distorted vocals. 

Tracklisting

  • 1Become a Mountain
  • 2Hypnagogic
  • 3Sat By A Tree
  • 4Arp I: Wide Eyed
  • 5Arp II: Float Away
  • 6Arp III: Far From Shore
  • 7Arp IV: Any Moment
  • 8Weeping Birch
  • 9Fell Into the Ocean
  • 10My Friend
  • 11Bumble Bee Crown King
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