the second mothers album was always going to be a sonic departure from the first. the songs contained on the band’s 2016 debut when you walk a long distance you are tired were largely culled from kristine leschper’s solo work that existed under the same moniker; the non-album single “no crying in baseball,” recorded after the album and arriving before it, already signaled the quartet’s tilt away from spectral folk and more towards the intricate polyrhythms that accentuated leschper’s song structures on when you walk.
render another ugly method, mothers’ eagerly-anticipated sophomore follow-up, seemingly continues to indulge in those intricacies, at least if its lead single, “blame kit,” is any indication. essentially a sequence of miniatures, leschper and company meander through tempi and time signatures before slowing their enduring waltz down to a plodding pace, angular guitar arpeggios and percussive interjections providing movement around a languid lead vocal. mothers has always demanded a certain level of attention in their music, but “blame kit” elevates the active listening expectations to another plane, one where repeated visits routinely reward its audience.
render another ugly method arrives september 7th via ANTI-. listen to “blame kit” below.
an ear to the ground on social media occasionally yields wondrous results. the work of philadelphia singer-songwriter minji kong has recently drifted into orbit, specifically an extended play, cut it short a year ago, that she released under the moniker the hidden shelf.
the three tracks that populate cut it short are a potent ten minutes of introspection. sandwiched in the middle is the aqueous, synth-driven “defeatist,” which finds kong deftly navigating the nuances of communication throughout spells of uncertainty and impermanence. it’s a gorgeous song in all of its elements, an offering bold enough to hang its identity on a seemingly-rhetorical question: “why should we just abandon and throw when we both don’t know?”
our good pal over at heartbreaking bravery steered us towards the goodbye party, the solo project of michael cantor, who used to play with philadelphia-based pop-punk band the ambulars. cantor released silver blues, his first full-length as the goodbye party, yesterday via bandcamp; it’s a twelve-track effort that finds him straddling the line between earnest power-pop and more atmospheric, bluesy experimentations. the album’s lead single, “crossed out,” falls into the former of those two camps, with distorted jangly guitar work pushed towards the forefront of the song’s mix. despite its sunny instrumental disposition, “crossed out” lyrically reflects the somber side of cantor’s output, with lyrics like “i couldn’t make a fist to punch out / the light glowing over my head as i sleep” retaining an especially hopeless quality. silver blues will see a vinyl release via salinas later this month; take a listen to “crossed out” below.