Published Jul 05, 2010Over the course of two albums, Vancouver pop eclectics Mother Mother have explored outlandish freak folk (2007s Touch Up) and electro-tinged new wave (2008's O My Heart). Now, the group are putting the finishing touches on their third album, which is being produced by frontman Ryan Guldemond in Vancouver's Mushroom Studios and District Four Recordings.
"This [album] is more synthy and more rock," says Guldemond, speaking to Exclaim! on the phone from his Vancouver apartment. "The last album had a few tracks of that ilk but it wasn't really like that throughout. I mean, there were a lot of acoustic numbers and a lot of orchestral undertones with strings and horns and stuff like that. And this album is more modern in the sense that we ran the gamut of electronic sounds."
In addition to having an increased synthesizer presence, Guldemond notes that the still-untitled new album will be more energetic than past efforts. "It's direct and punchy and hooky and fun and lively. It's not very sombre... There's a lot of upbeat songs. It's kind of an up-up-up album."
The 2010 incarnation of Mother Mother has a different lineup than that which appeared on past albums. Singer Debra-Jean Creelman left the band in late 2008, and the recent sessions marked the first time that the band had entered the studio with new member Jasmine Parkin.
Speaking about Creelman's departure, the usually friendly and talkative Guldemond becomes guarded. "That relationship ended for reasons that were real and both parties went on to pursue something more in tune and closer to their hearts."
Rather than dwelling on the situation, the songwriter prefers to focus on the successes of the new lineup, enthusing, "We love the addition of Jasmine, and not only is she a great road partner but she's great in the studio too."
Parkin sings lead on one of the new songs, "Forever and a Bit," which Guldemond describes as an "esoteric piece." Still, he isn't sure if this track will make the album's final cut, as the band are still trying to decide which of the 16 songs they recorded should be released.
"You could really crap different types of albums when you have 16 songs to choose from. It's like, do you want to make an eclectic album or do you want to make a focused album? Do you want to make a rock record or do you want to do something that has folkier elements?"
We'll have to wait until the new year to hear which direction Mother Mother decide to go in. Although the album was originally pegged to hit shelves in the fall, Guldemond says that's the band's label, Last Gang, has opted to put off the release until early 2011. Until then, fans can get a taste of the new material during the band's live shows. Although they currently have only two dates booked, Guldemond says that a September tour of Ontario will be announced soon.
Prior to hitting the road, Guldemond will help produce a new EP by Vancouver songstress Laura Smith. And, of course, he will continue to tweak his recent recordings with Mother Mother. "Producing your own stuff is a whole different ball game - you really get attached," he admits. "The labour of love is really strong."
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