Motherhood has been setting deep thoughts to rippin’ music since they were kids in the backwoods of the early aughts. Their newest long-player, Winded, (released June 24, available here) dives headlong into a narrative that explores the mundanity of the natural world as it mirrors human suffering. In their beloved home province of New Brunswick, with its dramatic vistas as a backdrop, the Avant-punk trio spin a yarn about navigating a straight line through a storm – amid the driftwood and stones, under tireless ocean waves, and peering cliffside into a foggy void.
Lyricist Brydon Crain draws on his own history to weave metaphors about deciding to stay the course, despite the allure of losing control. The colourful songwriting pulls from the hillbilly regionalisms he comes by honestly, breathing new life into rural jokes and old wive’s tales; yet his delivery cops frequently from hip-hop, skillfully skirmishing with drummer Adam Sipkema’s relentless, complex rhythms. Holding it all together, Penelope Stevens is the tie that binds, as her harmonies float like some bright ghost, and her bass and synths pulse and sting and wash.
We thought it was about time we found out a little more about Motherhood’s gestation process, so we asked them to share four albums that are major influences on their music.
Love is Simple – Akron/Family (chosen by Penny)
Akron/Family made music with exuberance and immediacy; it feels like they’re actually experiencing those emotions in the moment, not just singing about it. Love is Simple has so much depth while still being so straightforward. The message doesn’t get lost in its delivery. I think this album taught us that you can be sincere and still rock really really hard; that you can be maximalist and minimalist and not lack cohesion; that if you’re not having fun then why the hell are you making music?!
Friend Opportunity – Deerhoof (Chosen by Penny)
I knew we had to select a Deerhoof album for this process, because they’re likely the single biggest influence on us, but WHICH album to pick?! I whittled it down from 13 to six, then six to three before finally settling on Friend Opportunity, but know that every Deerhoof album is great – no duds in the repertoire. Friend Opportunity constantly toes the line between aggression and tenderness. The way that they’re able to balance heaviness with levity, and deep meaning with absurdity is something that we continue to strive for in our work. I think in music, finding the space between creating entertainment and creating art is very difficult. Deerhoof has always walked that tightrope with precision, and it’s why they continue to be one of our favourite bands out there.