Maps & His Mothball Fleet Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


The members of Philadelphia’s Maps & His Mothball Fleet have been so kind as to craft a mix tape for you. The band’s new LP, Fighting Season, is out August 5, so make sure to add “Trust The Treehouse” to your playlist as well. Check out the mix tape, and a note from Maps braintrust Matt Wanamaker, below.

“Rather than make this a simple list by a solo artist, I wanted to include the members of my touring band in this process, since each of them contributed significantly to the final sound of the album. The idea was that each would send me a track or two that represented their own personal experience in helping me with the recording. Much like how I found working with them on the overdubs to my original tracks, each interpreted the concept differently, with a result that was more interesting than I could have hoped for. Kevin Hilyard (bass) submitted one that explained his musical origin story and another that hinted at how he aspires to evolve as a musician. Hayley Richardson (backing vocals, percussion) suggests a great track that she remembered hearing when we first started discussing how to treat the backing vocals. Pat McKay (guitar) from the Silence Kit and Dan Friedberg (guitar, backing vocals) offered windows into their different processes for crafting their guitar sounds. Also considering the studio work that Phil Motley, Avo Trigo, Eric Heidel, Dave Maietta, Scott Herzog, Peter Davis and Will Brock put in, I have some talented friends, and I’ve been happy sharing this experience with them. Enjoy!” —Matt

The Everly Brothers, “Cathy’s Clown”
Matt: This is one of my first musical memories, strapped into my Mom’s old Buick as a kid. It only got AM radio, so I started early with pop hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s and probably didn’t hear much of anything newer until around sixth grade when we got a new car. Growing up with melodies like these must have warped my brain to the point where now I won’t finish writing a song if I don’t think it’ll have a pop hook. Those harmonies, too … I can’t seem to figure out diatonic thirds like Don and Phil can, but I’ll keep trying. Video

Tobin Sprout, “The Last Man Well Known To Kingpin”
Matt: I wore the Carnival Boy CD out in college. At the time, it felt like a ‘90s descendant of All Things Must Pass, just one guy toiling alone at home and then later getting friends to overdub the extras. I openly admit I used that process as the blueprint for my album, mixing my hissy four-track snippets with the fleshed-out stuff. People said that was inconsistent of him to do it that way, but to me that made it more approachable and probably more fun. Video

Mojave 3, “In Love With A View”
Matt: I don’t like many songs more than three minutes long, but even at six-plus, this one is too short. On rough nights in the war, I’d listen to music to come down, just lying in bed sweating in my gear after a shift on watch. I’d always go right to this one to take me away to that room in a Canadian winter where “the romance was hard to ignore.” I love feeling that optimism in the first verse as much as the heartbreak of the last. Video

Fugazi, “Waiting Room”
Kevin: The first time I heard this song I was in ninth grade, and it was being covered by a bunch of upperclassmen in the school cafeteria. I’m sure in retrospect it was terrible, but I ran out to the record store that night and bought my first Fugazi record. Beyond how I play bass, that album had a major influence on how I viewed the world, defined success and made decisions. Video

Tim Barry, “Avoiding Catatonic Surrender”
Kevin: From Tim Barry’s first real solo record, you literally hear him learning to be a folk singer on the songs from this record. He’s telling vivid stories while maybe squeezing too many words into each line. Video

Jackie Shane, “Any Other Way”
Hayley: This song was actually playing in a cafe on the Lower East Side when Matt asked me to sing on his record. It’s astonishing, isn’t it? Jackie took a William Bell country song and slowed it down in this live version with soulful grace. It’s about yearning for something, defiantly and resolutely. I’m such a sucker for songs that plumb the depths of longing, as it seems to be my primary emotional currency. Video

R.E.M., “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”
Pat: The main guitar riff is strange and haunted, but aggressive and angular, more like Gang Of Four than what R.E.M. has always been known for, and with evocative lyrics like “Peel back the mountains, peel back the sky, stomp gravity into the ground,” Michael Stipe pulls you in. The strings floating in and out add to the foreboding, and then at around two minutes in, the song just glides into this bright, sustained part and it feels like the darkness is letting up, the song strips down, falls apart and we go around again. There are more well-known songs on this album, but this one always felt to me like a true statement of intent, and the way it flows from dark to light and back again always felt like perfection to me. Video

Air, “Cherry Blossom Girl”
Dan: I always loved the chord progression of this song. It’s been one of my go-tos whenever I’m just noodling around. If I’m walking in the city on a stressful day, it’s always something I can listen to that has an immediate soothing quality. I don’t do much fingerpicking, but this song definitely makes me want to, and it certainly helped craft a few guitar lines on Fighting Season. Video

Belle & Sebastian, “Asleep On a Sunbeam”
Dan: When I was working out the solo for “A Lot Becomes A Little,” I didn’t want to take away from the vocal melody, but I still wanted to take it somewhere slightly different. There’s a little piece on this track where the guitar just perfectly hugs, then let’s go, then resolves beautifully. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t attempting to channel that. Video

John Vanderslice, “Exodus Damage”
Kevin: I’ve always really liked this song. I just really like the contrast of such catchy, pretty music with the dark lyrics. That juxtaposition attracted me to Matt’s project, too. Video