With Mother’s Day having just passed a few weeks ago, what better timing than now for British Colombia’s own Mother Mother to be in the news. The band is currently touring in celebration of their second album ‘O My Heart’ turning 10-years old this year. The alternative rock band has been on the scene since their inaugural album ‘Touch Up’ was released back in 2005. To simply call Mother Mother an alternative rock back does not truly do justice to the quirky sound they have been creating over the last 13 years, but it is hard to pinpoint another word to describe their unique sound. While their sound has always evolved, the interplay of male and female vocals spearheaded by siblings Ryan and Molly Guldemond as well as fellow bandmate Jasmin Parkin has always been a part of their music.
‘O My Heart’, which came out three years after the band’s first album, is considered by many to be their seminal record. Mother Mother released three singles off the record all of which charted on the Canadian Alternative charts. The singles were ‘Hayloft’ reaching 43rd, ‘Body of Years’ at 12th, and the title track ‘O My Heart’ which hit 24th on the charts. ‘O My Heart’ is also the first track on the album and properly sets the tone that would carry throughout the rest of the album. After beginning with a quick snare hit, bassist Mike Young comes in with a simple yet powerful line that sets the pace and groove for the song; a groove Young repeats on the third track ‘Body of Years’. After a few bars of just bass, the drums kick back in followed by the main guitar line Guldemond plays foreshadowing the notes he sings during the verses. And when Ryan begins to sing it is with no confusion that this song is rooted in a painful experience he has been through. With lyrics referring to his heart being a fish out of water, or a house in a tornado, Guldemond pours emotion into the song. With the now symbolic Mother Mother sound of Molly and Jasmin harmonizing with Ryan’s lyrics, the song has an eerie tone that continues throughout the record.
While ‘O My Heart’ sets the tone, the instrumentation on the record varies, seemingly switching from song to song between electric to acoustic leading guitars. The second track ‘Burning Pile’ maintains the tone but with a more laid-back sound. Opening with a simple acoustic riff that continues throughout the track, ‘Burning Pile’ seemingly cuts the tempo in half from ‘O My Heart’. But despite the difference in arrangement, the mood of the song stays the same. This ability of Mother Mother to write an entire record that maintains a similar feeling from song to song all the while changing the pace of those songs is a testament to their creativity and individuality, and a key reason the record is revered by fans.
In harmony with their celebration the album’s 10th-anniversary, the band is not only touring the album but has put out a new record, ‘O My Heart (Live Sessions)’ a selection of six of the hottest tracks done live. The song list goes: O My Heart, Ghosting, Burning Pile, Body of Years, Wrecking Ball, and Hayloft. The band performs all the tracks flawlessly, with a few new twists to the songs that make this live album all the more special. If the album is any indication of how the 10th anniversary shows are going you need to see them. They will be making their stop in Toronto at the end of June with four shows at the historic Lee’s Palace from the 27th-30th.
For a full list of tour dates and tickets click here to go to the band’s website.