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Lessons for Mutants

by Johanna Warren

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heartcooksbrain
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heartcooksbrain Amazing voice in all its ranges and amazing organic sound of production! A simply beautiful album. Favorite track: Lessons for Mutants.
H.L.
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H.L. Well, sometimes it is not the right time for metal and then I need some new honest, catchy and emotional rock-pop-indie-singer-songwriter stuff which doesn't bore me after the second listen. In search of such rare pearls I came across Johanna Warren already with "Chaotic Good" and now I also enjoy "Lessons for Mutants" and another soulful vocal performance. "Piscean Lover", "I'd be Orange" and ":/" are my dynamic favourites, the rest is calmer and needs some more time to stay in mind. Favorite track: Piscean Lover.
tower_of_yaztromo
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tower_of_yaztromo Great set of edgier creative new material I have on constant rotation - thanks Johanna! Favorite track: Piscean Lover.
OKden
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OKden You always fuck me up in the very best way, you forever Blossoming Goddess, you Emotive Wizard!
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Entire package is made from 100% recycled materials using plant based inks at a carbon neutral facility. Each individual copy is pressed on a random, unique color. Instead of using plastic shrink wrap, the jacket is wrapped in an obi strip made out of recycled paper.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Lessons for Mutants via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $25.99 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Lessons for Mutants via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $14.99 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9.99 USD  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    SECOND EDITION JUST ADDED: Johanna will create original hand-drawn embellishments on the gatefold, and sign the cover in metallic gold ink. Each copy is a unique art piece!

    [First edition of 10 (sold out) will be hand-numbered in gold and sealed with a purple kiss]

    Includes unlimited streaming of Lessons for Mutants via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days
    edition of 10  5 remaining

      $50 USD or more 

     

  • Vinyl Test Pressing
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Extremely limited edition test pressing - only 3 copies exist in the world.

    PLEASE NOTE: Side B is defective on these test pressings. This is meant to be a collector's item.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Lessons for Mutants via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

1.
Time forgot me here Waiting for my head to clear Laughing backwards felt like enough Learned some new bad words You caught a bad cough Cut me off to tell me I was right Set me on fire so I could be your guiding light Thirst for power, hunger for fame Always was a junkie for pain Time to swallow bitter pills Rectify the countless ills I’ve committed in the name of healing Cut me off to tell me I was right Set me on fire so I could be your guiding light If everyone was a color You’d be red and I’d be orange Even though I don’t like orange Just so I could sit next to you in the rainbow Time forgot me here to think About what I’ve done Pull me back from the brink Look ambition in the face Face the facts and throw the race I was right Set me on fire so I could be your guiding light
2.
Say the words and make it so Scratch the scab you’ll make it grow Black it out or let it show Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know Swallow down a Piscean Taste of your own medicine Change the locks when you open The heart- shaped box she had you trapped in Anyway better not get too existential I cannot guarantee that I’ll live up to my potential But I guess better safe than sorry I’ll never take the last bow I don’t know but there’s only one way to find out Live to die another day I know you, you had more to say It’s alright, we’re not ok We burn out not to fade away Anyway better not get too existential I cannot guarantee that I’ll live up to my potential But I guess better safe than sorry I was never here right now I don’t know but there’s only one way to find out Strike a match and watch it glow If you love it let it go Grow a tail, learn how to swim This is how the world begins
3.
Oaths 03:14
You oughtta get some rest So I’ll stop talking, I’ll go And I’ll wish you the very best But how far down does it go? Beneath the wounds are deeper wounds I told you so We danced close to the blade We cut it off and I stopped and I stood And I bowed my head and I prayed To the unseen forces To wash us clean and please divorce us From our pain O wise, mighty waves What wicked winds have whipped us into shapes So monstrous and depraved? And what oaths must we take To be absolved and rendered Ready and awake? Old friend, I forgot Your true name—I got confused And mixed it up with one I was taught But that sound rang hollow, I never was convinced You are much more than that We were born for more than this
4.
Country Fair 04:35
Here is a path to a clearing Fearing the wrath of God I stepped aside Ready for some new kind of feeling I ran to the field with my arms open wide Tired of the circles we talk in I walked to the road and right into my own trap again When sweet opportunity comes knockin’ How many times must I learn the same lesson? I learned my lesson Your peeling paint was appealing Realistically I know I don't need to know Ready for some new kind of healing I cuff up the legs to trudge into the virgin snow The sound of your voice is like petals Better than Saturdays battering oysters for the fry When papa brought home a gold medal You ran to your room and locked the door, I heard you cry I’ll learn my lesson
5.
Loose ends tying me up in knots Caught recirculating the same old thoughts Can’t catch a break for a goddamn minute Wonder who’s at the gates? Felt him coming miles away I feel everything But I guess that’s how you know you’re in it Sometimes I can remember the good times Sometimes it’s easier to forget So I don’t have to miss you too much Sometimes I can relate to myself I disassociate more than I’d like to But what can you do? Freedom comes at a price I can tell you from years of taking my own advice Not many people can handle the truth But I’d rather be lonely and empowered Than on a cross or devoured By those who would take a tooth for a tooth Sometimes I can remember the good times Sometimes it’s easier to forget So I don’t have to miss you too much Sometimes I can relate to myself I disassociate more than I’d like to But what can you do?
6.
:/ 01:47
you’ve been talking in your sleep we could end it all right now, well couldn’t we? just like the other thing but who’s to say there’s not something worth saving? you better be right about how better off I’m gonna be fugue, fantasy the truth deceives couldn’t be the laugh’s on me or could it be? you’ve been talking yourself in circles again I would almost rather that you didn’t tell me anything I will listen when my ears stop ringing you better be right about how better off I’m gonna be fugue, fantasy the truth deceives couldn’t be the laugh’s on me or could it be?
7.
Wanna hear what’s in my head? Holy spirits hovering over my bed colors blurring into pure white Warm hands return me to the light Made the journey safe and sound Bury my yearning in the ground I am learning He just called to say he still don’t know Try the new way: Love him and let him go The sweetness of Surrender Is real love I must remember Saw behind the rage to your pain at a tender age burgundy as a bloodstain and I forgive you your circumstance Lord knows it’s not my life to live anymore and I cannot afford to take the chance I’d go overboard Now free of yesterday all my stories flicker and fade away into dust revealing not who I thought I was layers peeling, ancient feeling born from our mothers’ bloodlust rebuilding trust, ask me anything or tell me if you must You who thought you knew me back when watch the fire burn through me, I’m born again and should you ever be fully realized come find me join in the revelries of butterflies
8.
Hi Res 02:51
I get that it meant something to you I know how tempting it can be to make meaning where there is none But I want to be honest with you I’ve probably already done some damage that cannot be undone To me you were a crutch that I used to help myself feel semi-stable in the moment and I’m grateful to you for that, baby but it was never personal, see I did my best to make sure you didn’t get some big ideas about me The seafoam smells like sewage The rainbows in the bubbles can be attributed to the pollution and I know that we’ve talked through it but I believe we could find a more mutually agreeable solution I summoned you with magic That’s a testament to the power we can both tap into So let’s do something great with it I’ve seen the brilliance of the love we can all step into I ran home to tell you I realized I don’t wanna suffer I want us both to be free I’m sorry for my failures I did my best to make sure you know it’s not about you, babe, it’s about me
9.
Good is Gone 02:27
Let’s not even ask how all this trouble came to pass or how it came to be that you see me as an enemy Well there you go telling me what I already know Did you forget? I know things that haven’t happened yet Do what you need to do to kill whatever’s eating you and I’ll try to be alright but I’ll dream about it every night So leave me be I just don’t have the energy to lead you on I can see when something good is gone Well I don’t wanna fight I just wanna hear you say I’m right So tired of keeping score Fuck it I can’t do this anymore Well there you go telling me what I already know like you forgot I can hear you thinking every thought So leave me be this is literally killing me Alright I was wrong I can see when something good is gone
10.
Involvulus 01:54
Transitory times All our stars aligned Mapmaker must have been blind Sure made Heaven hard to find Temporary states Better late than never You have taught me how to wait But I can’t wait forever I can see you’re scared I love you just the same No one’s perfect or prepared For this mortal game So meet me where I stand And I will do the same Higher Self to Higher Self You know who I am You know why I came Drop the story, take my hand I have done the best I can Orpheus looked back Hades knew he would Just a quick glance over his shoulder Now she’s gone for good

about

“I think it’s a mistake to equate ‘perfection’ with flawlessness. To be human is to be perfectly flawed,” Johanna Warren observes while describing the joys of analog recording. Her new LP Lessons for Mutants was tracked live with a band to two inch tape—a revelatory new way of working for Warren. “Tape forces you to commit to a performance, eccentricities and all. The little glitches and anomalies that we’re tempted to ‘correct’ are often what make a thing magical.”

Lessons for Mutants is the prolific songwriter’s sixth solo LP and her second for Wax Nine/Carpark Records. The album’s running theme of metamorphosis (the title of the closing track, “Involvulus,” is Latin for “caterpillar”) reflects major changes in Warren’s personal life: after a decade of relentless touring, as the world was closing its borders, the American multi-instrumentalist unexpectedly found herself quarantining in rural Wales, where she’s now permanently homesteading.

Though tracking for the new album began in New York in 2018 in tandem with the sessions for 2020’s Chaotic Good, the majority of Lessons for Mutants was recorded in the UK surrounded by sheep, cows and a forager’s paradise of wild edible plants—a far cry from the urban jungle of LA that Warren had most recently called home. The body of work that emerged from this dramatic about-face is Warren’s most dynamic to date, shapeshifting seamlessly from searing punk screams to sparkly psych-folk soundscapes, from the bootleg ambivalence of Dylan’s Basement Tapes to cosmic stoner grooves reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s acoustic moments.

“Sometimes I can relate to myself/ I disassociate more than I’d like to, but what can you do?” Warren croons in “Tooth for a Tooth,” a wistful piano ballad that conjures the grainy romance of some smoke-filled 1940s jazz club. This kind of to-the-bone lyrical honesty has always been one of Warren’s strong suits, but these latest reflections are especially unflinching. Being forced to stop touring brought no shortage of self-examination for Warren, who quickly came to view her history on the road as an addiction from which she’s been detoxing. This sentiment dances through opening track “I’d Be Orange,” a drum-driven indie rock number replete with Beatles-esque male backing vocals: “Thirst for power, hunger for fame/ Always was a junkie for pain,” Warren confesses. This exploration of masochistic ambition and artistic martyrdom overflows into grunge anthem “Piscean Lover”: “It’s alright, we’re not ok/ We burn out not to fade away.”

“There’s this unspoken rule in modern music—modern life, really—that everything needs to be Auto-Tuned and ‘on the grid,’” Warren concludes. “This record is an act of resistance against that. There’s beauty and power in our aberrations, if we can embrace them.”

credits

released October 7, 2022

Music and lyrics by Johanna Warren

Johanna Warren - Guitars, vocals, piano, flute, organ, glockenspiel
Raven Bush – Violin
Mike Collins - Ooh la la las on Track 1
Chris St. Hilaire - Drums and bass on Tracks 6, 8, 9
Chris Jones - Drums, percussion, ooh la la las
Tom Sansbury - Bass, synth, ooh la la las

Recorded by Mike Collins and Al Harle at Big Jelly Studios, Joe Jones at Rockfield Studios, Josh Hahn at The Relic Room, and Johanna Warren at Pleasure Palace.
Mixed by Mike Collins at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, UK
Mastered by Sarah Register
Photos by Philip J Randall
Art direction & Layout by Richey Beckett

Thank you India, terror, disillusionment, et al. and especially Richey, the parent portals, plants and fungi, Frida, Merlin, Brandon, Tressa, Jim and JP.

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