Cry Havoc! is a thrilling introduction to a new sonic and narrative world created by Mobley. With his trademark cinematic sweep, the Austin, TX-based songsmith (and record producer/filmmaker/writer) has delivered a collection of songs that are as captivating as they are catchy.

With Mobley’s last musical project, Young & Dying In The Occident Supreme, the musician added several new textures to his unique brand of futuristic art rock, from flirtations with psychedelia to instrumental flourishes reminiscent of Ennio Morricone. His sonic evolution continues with Cry Havoc!, which also serves as a prelude to a forthcoming science-fiction epic from the prolific artist.

More steeped in narrative than any of Mobley’s previous work, all seven tracks on Cry Havoc! are from the point of view of Jacob Creedmoor, an ordinary man who becomes radicalized into a Robin Hood-esque figure over the course of the EP. We hear the beginnings of this in the aptly titled “themesong,” where our hero taunts oppressors with the defiant refrain, “we’ve got to burn it down.” In the music video — shot on location in Johannesburg, South Africa and directed by Mobley himself — he dons a balaclava and chases down a landlord who’s been bullying his tenants.

“I think the protagonist is growing increasingly disaffected,” says Mobley. “This mirrors my own evolution over the past five or six years — an increasing unwillingness to wait. An increasing mistrust of the systems of power and control that shape the world. An increasing belief that those systems have to be dismantled entirely and replaced with ones that actually serve people.”

Fittingly, the sonics on Cry Havoc! have a newfound energy and aggression that matches Creedmoor’s journey, from the marching-band percussion of anthemic “lord” to the metallic bursts of guitar that punctuate the verses of “stay volk.” The title of the latter cleverly combines the oft-appropriated phrase “stay woke” with a reference to the colonial ideology known as Herrenvolk Democracy.

That’s not to say that the track’s aesthetics — or anything about Cry Havoc! — is defined by doom and gloom. Like so many of the best Mobley songs, “stay volk” is an infectious jam, and we see the artist himself dance in the accompanying visual — a unique challenge since his head has been replaced by an old rabbit-ear television. As he gracefully leaps and glides across the floor of a rundown warehouse, his face warps and glitches on the TV screen, perhaps hinting at the sci-fi direction Creedmoor’s story will take in Mobley’s future work. And final track “worstway” — the lone love song — starts with a seductive, slowburn intro before exploding into a neon electropop banger, with our protagonist pining for someone, something just out of reach.

But the anchor of Cry Havoc! is “body english,” a propulsive track that’s poised to join Bruce Springsteen’s “Meeting Across The River” and Ghostface Killah’s “Shakey Dog” in the ranks of music’s greatest heist songs. As Creedmoor engages in a moonshot caper to make a better life for his family, Mobley breaks down the act in breathtaking detail, from dockside whispers about a “freighter with a hole in its bow” to a deal with stevedores to the eventual betrayal that leads to the protagonist’s incarceration — and sets the stage for the saga to come. Cry Havoc! is Mobley at the peak of his powers, functioning as both a self-contained character study and an adventurous introduction to something bigger at play.

Cry Havoc! will be released via Last Gang Records in September 2022, and is the latest project in a career that has already spanned multiple artistic mediums. Most recently, Mobley composed the theme music for Webby Award-winning SiriusXM & Smithsonian podcast All Music Is Black Music, hosted by Selema Masekela and featuring guests Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, St. Vincent, and many more. Prior to that, 2021’s Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme made waves around the world with “James Crow”, a critically-acclaimed pop-rock song with a political conscience.

Mobley has also played dozens of festivals, including ACL, Lollapalooza, Hangout, SXSW, Noise Pop, and Float Fest; opened for Cold War Kids, Phantogram, James Blake, Bishop Briggs, WAVVES, ARIZONA, Dermot Kennedy, Sylvan Esso, and Matt & Kim; racked up millions of streams on DSPs and landed sync placements on HBO, FOX, NBC, ESPN, CW, and more. He’s seen airplay ads on Alt Nation, KROQ, KUTX, ACL Radio, and KEXP, and has received praise from Billboard, Noisey, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Consequence of Sound, American Songwriter, and more.