Paired with an AI-assisted video, the new single arrives ahead of a stretch of new shows across the UK + Ireland (listed below) and swiftly follows his warmly-received collaboration with XTC’s Colin Moulding, “Only Grey Matter Boiling In My Head”, from earlier this year.
Taking a leap of faith, “Jump Off The Earth”, is an experimental new single that sees the US alternative folk/rock songwriter reaching into bold creative stratospheres.
A song that comments on the passing of time and the inevitable shadow of our mortality, it is also one that finds the veteran San Francisco artist invigorated by life and all it has to offer. With a message to seize the moment while it’s ours to take, Mickelson explains of it:
“I feel grateful for the life I’ve led as an artist but I’m also aware that the time left to continue is becoming more precious. I’ve gotten to the point where I will not let anyone or anything slow me down or interfere with the momentum I’ve built. In “Jump Off The Earth”, I’m saying there’s no time to waste. We need to let go of the negative things that hold us back and move beyond them. Or try at least – ha!”
Underpinned by Mickelson’s warm and weathered vocal, he unfurls ruminative and cryptic choral hooks like: “Every minute is a minute gone // No time to plan ahead
// I can’t tell you if I’m right or wrong I don’t want to leave you // I just need to jump off the Earth”; each lyric landing with the impact of a raindrop on Jupiter.
“I’d been playing around with the chorus riff on the banjo for a couple of years then when I experienced an unpleasant incident in my personal life, I thought to myself that I was wasting time ruminating over it. The lyric “Every minute is a minute gone.” came to mind and the rest of the song fell into place” adds Mickelson.
Alive with hyperreal sonic textures and off-kilter time-signatures, “Jump Off The Earth” conjures a Salvador Dali-esque palette for the ears. Initially written and demoed in Mickelson’s San Francisco Bay Area studio last year, the track was fleshed-out at Earthworm Studios in Swindon, UK with the assistance of studio-owner/keyboardist Jon Buckett and drummer Lee Moulding; both of whom perform in his live band. With percussion that ticks like grains of sand falling through an hourglass, the result song opens-up a vortex of winding banjo thrums, ethereal synthesisers, and gravitational basslines that transport the listener through a labyrinthine world of sound. Finalised and mixed back in the US, “Jump Off The Earth ” was mastered by Bob Weston (Chicago Mastering) in 2023.
Chiming with the cyclical themes of time, progress and change, “Jump Off The Earth” also arrives with a futuristic animated video that Mickelson created with a German artist named Soundfaenger. Together, they worked for weeks in the A.I. program Stable Diffusion. Mickelson explains, “I created about twelve images and sent those, along with a storyboard/concept to Jo (Soundfaengar). He sent me clips for each scene for approval and changes. After about thirty clips were created, I edited it all down to match the storyline of the lyrics.” All of this can be seen to interweave like surrealistic watercolours in the mesmeric final video here:https://youtu.be/uh_kBgCYb28
An intrepid new release from an artist unafraid to blur the boundaries, “Jump Off The Earth” arrives as a glimpse into the anticipated 10th studio album from Mickelson, incoming soon.
MICKELSON – UK TOUR: SUMMER 2023
24 – SWINDON – The Hop Inn
25 – BOX – Schtumm
28 – GLOUCESTER – Cafe Rene
29 – LONDON – The Harrison
30 – SALISBURY – The Winchester Gate
1 – MINETY – Minety Music Festival
2 – BRADFORD-UPON-AVON – Three Horseshoes
3 – BATH – The Bell Inn
7 – DUBLIN – Workman’s Club
8 – BRISTOL – The Golden Lion
TICKETS ON SALE HERE: