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The Mystery Plan – Photo Credit: Daniel Coston
Today we revisit the latest offering from The Mystery Plan, whose music we introduced you to a few years ago, by premiering the lead single “Ballad of JC Quinn.”
Led by Jason Herring, this track beautifully foreshadows the band’s fifth album Zsa Zsa, which will be released in early April via Charlotte, VA-based label Ten Millimeter Omega Recordings. The rhythmically spry and upbeat track pushes forward with rapidly hit hand drums and a strong bass line groove. Light electronic percolation creates a bright atmosphere that’s compounded by lovely airy female vocals and curling guitar reverberations.
A bit earlier, the band presented a vibing fantastic Massive Attack-esque single called ‘Al Gore Rhythms’. These two singles ought to take the fancy of those who adore Massive Attack, Morcheeba, Sixpence None The Richer, and St. Etienne.
Produced by the legendary John Fryer and Jason Herring, this record also features such notable guests as Micah Gaugh (The Veldt, Apollo Heights), Ian Masters, That Guy Smitty, and Snap Nation. The Mystery Plan also previously worked with Fryer on their fourth full-length release Queensland Ballroom, released in late 2017.
Based in Charlotte, NC, the band is comprised of Jason Herring, Amy Herring, Jeff Chester, Otis Hughes, and Patty McLaughlin. Over the course of their history, they’ve managed to release 10 EPs and LPs combined.
“JC Quinn was an actor from NYC with many film and television credits, including “Barfly”, “the Abyss”, “Visionquest” and countless others. He moved to Charlotte in the late 1990s to be closer to his grandchildren. We met at a downtown watering hole called Cafe 521, owned and operated by his good friend from New York, Peter Herrero. That’s where I met JC, along with many other actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernadette Peters, etc.. They would always stop at the café when in town to visit their good friend Peter,” says Jason Herring.
“JC and I struck up a nice friendship. He was a fan of ours and would come to shows and stand right up front so we could see him. A very lovely man indeed. Sadly, JC died in Mexico while shooting a film a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to pay tribute to him, and we have finally done so with this song. The lyrics are a blend of what we would do with him now if he were still here, and iconic lines from some of his films.”
Zsa Zsa was recorded at Catalyst Recording and various local studios over a 2+ year stretch following a number of Southeast U.S. tours in promotion of the band’s Queensland Ballroom album. This new record touches of several different styles – everything from deep mellow shoegaze and folky ambient to upbeat dancable trip-hop and electronica.
Zsa Zsa finds the quintet moving further afield of its earlier psych-folk leaning to land on something more akin to the down-tempo approach of Portishead and Zero 7, mixed with early 4AD action. That latter connection is in no small part due to the return of band collaborator, producer John Fryer (too many A-list credits to list here), and new Mystery Plan friend Ian Masters, former bassist-vocalist of influential British shoegazers Pale Saints.
As of March 6, ‘Ballad of JC Quinn’ will be available digitally across streaming platforms. The full Zsa Za album will be released on April 4, both on CD and digitally.
Written by Jason Herring and Amy Herring
Produced and mixed by Jason Herring and Rob Tavaglione at Catalyst Recording, Charlotte.
Vocals by Amy Herring and Patty McLaughlin
Bass by Otis Hughes
Drums/percussion by Jefferson Chester
Guitars/keyboards/programming by Jason Herring
Lap-steel guitars by Peter McCranie
Cover art by Chris DeLange. design and layout by Clear Design.
Band photography by Daniel Coston
Enjoy two other great tracks from the band’s forthcoming album: