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“Sometimes years go by, it seems,” Jonathan Donahue sings within seconds of Mercury Rev’s ninth album, “The Light in You,” giving the first snapshot into the mental state of a band that has returned from the brink. Seven years, in fact, had passed since Mercury Rev last released a record, a period that has seen birth and rebirth, heartbreak, tragedy and natural disaster once again test the resolve of psych-pop’s great survivors.

“It’s been crazy,” guitarist Sean “Grasshopper” Mackowiak says on the phone from the Iceland Airwaves festival, which seems like an understatement in view of the catastrophe that befell Donahue in August 2011: The frontman’s New York home was a victim of Hurricane Irene. “It came through and destroyed Jonathan’s house,” Grasshopper says. “He had to move, his house was washed away with the waters. He got some guitars back as the water was rising fast, but he lost everything — his record collection, the original two track tapes to “Deserter’s Songs,” his computer, everything. It was crazy.”

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