Saturday, October 2, 2021
“I didn’t expect to be putting out a guitar record in 2021,” says Mobley of his latest work, Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme. “For a while, I was writing songs using the whole studio as my inspiration. Oddly enough, it was coming home to the confines of the guitar that opened everything up for me.”
Perhaps it’s fitting that he had to go to the other side of the world to “come home.” The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist hangs his hat in Austin, TX, but after an itinerant childhood spent in more than a dozen cities across the globe, a guitar is as much a home as any spot on the map.
Mobley wrote Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme as a sonic critique of Western supremacy, a theme he felt even more urgently while not in the United States. He recorded the majority of the guitar lines in an apartment on a remote island in the Gulf of Thailand. Back in the US, a whole arsenal of instruments awaited Mobley, so much that the credits for the record read like a cashier taking late-night inventory at a music store: piano, bass, drums, percussion, trumpet, violin, autoharp, mandolin, melodica, tin whistle, vibraphone, glockenspiel, the list goes on and on and on. By contrast, the more modern touches of field recordings, crystalline synths, and jagged edits accent instruments that have been around for centuries.
— Dan Caffrey