CANADIAN BAND PRO­FILE: MOTHER MOTHER

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Since the band’s in­cep­tion back in 2005, Mother Mother has con­sis­tently de­liv­ered among the fresh­est and most unique sound­ing al­ter­na­tive mu­sic in the Canadian scene, evolv­ing grace­fully with each al­bum and not be­ing afraid to try new things with their over­all sound, all the while re­tain­ing a level of cere­bral lyri­cism that’s rarely found in mod­ern mu­sic.

Orig­i­nally es­tab­lished un­der the moniker Mother, the band formed in Van­cou­ver in 2005 as a three- piece fea­tur­ing gui­tarist and singer Ryan Gulde­mond, his sis­ter Molly and De­bra- Jean Creel­man. The ini­tial in­car­na­tion of the band was an acous­tic troupe, per­form­ing the songs Ryan had writ­ten while at mu­sic school, and things con­tin­ued in that same for­mat un­til bassist Jeremy Page and drum­mer Ken­ton Loewen were added to the lineup ahead of the record­ing of the band’s de­but al­bum, the self- ti­tled Mother. The lineup saw a cou­ple more changes be­fore it reached its cur­rent for­mat, how­ever, with Creel­man de­part­ing in late 2008 to be re­placed by Jas­min Parkin on key­board and vo­cal duty, and orig­i­nal drum­mer Loewen step­ping aside for Ali Si­a­dat. Loewen has since gone on to spear­head his own project, The Crack­ling, on top of ap­pear­ing as drum­mer for sev­eral acts. Adopt­ing a sec­ond Mother to the band’s name, Mother Mother be­gan to take shape, and that orig­i­nal long player, recorded with Howard Redekopp, who has also worked with the likes of Te­gan and Sara and The New Pornog­ra­phers, was even­tu­ally re- re­leased on Last Gang Records as part of a four al­bum deal in Fe­bru­ary of 2007. Although not a com­mer­cial smash by any stretch, Touch Up did enough to es­tab­lish the band on the lo­cal cir­cuit, and ear­marked them as one to watch in the Canadian mu­sic scene, with sev­eral out­lets tip­ping them for the top.

A sec­ond al­bum fol­lowed with 2008’ s O My Heart, spawn­ing the sin­gles O My Heart, Body of Years and Hayloft which reached 24, 14 and 43, re­spec­tively, in the Canadian al­ter­na­tive charts be­tween 2008 and 2009. Again, the suc­cess was mod­er­ate, but the band’s evo­lu­tion and mat­u­ra­tion was clear for all to see, with an in­trigu­ing mix of sub­tly dark lyrics, un­ex­pected sonic twists and ra­dio- friendly melodies en­sur­ing plenty of airplay. Of the band’s body of work to date, many cite O My Heart as their most tra­di­tional record of all, with many el­e­ments hark­ing back to a Seat­tle- es­que sound rem­i­nis­cent of the early to mid- 90s, al­beit with a lot more lev­ity than the bands that clearly in­flu­enced the record­ing. It was ar­guably 2011’ s Eureka that re­ally ce­mented Mother Mother’s na­tional suc­cess, though, with first sin­gle The Stand com­ing in at num­ber 3 in the al­ter­na­tive charts, fol­lowed by an 11th place peak for Baby Don’t Dance and 20th for third and fi­nal sin­gle, Sim­ply Sim­ple. A much brighter, pop­pier and up­beat ef­fort than its pre­de­ces­sors, Eureka would

prove to lay the foun­da­tions for the band’s fu­ture records, in­te­grat­ing up­front elec­tronic in­stru­men­ta­tion for the first time, and push­ing to­wards a fuller, more epic sound. That trend con­tin­ued with the launch of The Sticks in 2012, an al­bum that, for many, de­fines Mother Mother. Far more elec­tronic and fea­tur­ing borderline EDM el­e­ments in places, it played host to sin­gles Let’s Fall in Love, Bit by Bit and In­fin­i­tes­i­mal - a trio of hits that, to this day, are com­mon­place on al­ter­na­tive ra­dio across Canada and be­yond. The Sticks would also prove to be the band’s most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful ef­fort in terms of its sin­gles’ chart plac­ing, with Let’s Fall in Love equalling The Stand’s 3rd place peak in the Canadian al­ter­na­tive charts, Bit by Bit nail­ing down a high of 4th, and In­fin­i­tes­i­mal man­ag­ing 12th. It also marked the band’s fi­nal re­lease on Last Gang Records be­fore sign­ing up with Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic Canada in 2014 for the re­lease of the band’s fifth stu­dio al­bum, Very Good Bad Thing. By far the band’s most elec­tronic of­fer­ing, Very Good Bad Thing con­tin­ues to forge a new path for the five- piece, with stand­out tracks in­clud­ing Get Out the Way, Monkey Tree and ti­tle track, Very Good Bad Thing. Son­i­cally, 2015’ s Mother Mother is al­most un­rec­og­niz­able from its ori­gins, with broad, sweep­ing synth chords and huge, mod­u­lat­ing elec­tronic basslines ac­cen­tu­at­ing Gulde­mond’s vo­cals in a way that would have been un­think­able a decade ago. Nev­er­the­less, the band has stayed true to its lyri­cal sen­si­bil­i­ties, and con­tin­ues to de­liver overtly introspective ex­am­i­na­tions on mod­ern life, in­fused with a dark sense of hu­mour that would feel out of place in prac­ti­cally any other band’s work. They may be a di­vi­sive band, with many lump­ing them in with Nick­el­back in the dis­like stakes, but there’s far more to Mother Mother than the bland, limp rock sen­si­bil­i­ties of Chad Kroeger and his band mates here, and even if their sound means they’re un­likely to at­tain the level of wide­spread suc­cess of their mid­dle­ofthe- road com­pa­tri­ots, they’re cer­tainly go­ing about things in an in­fin­itely more in­ter­est­ing way.

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