Photo by Valerie Fremin
Robert Harrison has always been ambitious. In the late ’90s, he and his band Cotton Mather attempted to create the kind soaring, candy-colored psych-pop of the Beatles and Beach Boys but with a home studio right here in Austin. Kon Tiki ended up getting a lukewarm commercial reception, but it was a critical smash. The album reverberated in some unlikely places: Noel Gallagher of Oasis has called it one of his favorite albums, and Britt Daniel says it’s been a huge influence on Spoon over the years.
Cotton Mather reformed in 2012 to celebrate the re-release of Kon Tiki, and Harrison’s ambition has only gotten bigger. In November, he started releasing new Cotton Mather songs one-at-a-time, and they’re all influenced by his love of the I Ching. He’s planning on writing a song for each of the ancient religious text’s 64 hexagrams, but you don’t need a divinity degree to understand it. “Child Bride” has an immediate appeal, thanks to the band’s sunny power-pop. And if you listen a little closer, a little bit of that spiritual mystery swirls around the lyrics. Download the song below.