REVIEW | MOTHERS – WHEN YOU WALK A LONG DISTANCE YOU ARE TIRED (LP)
It is a relatable feeling – the aching tiredness that comes with ending a futile relationship. While verging into Tumblr quote territory, writing about heartbreak (and, especially, unrequited love) is as old as music itself. Mothers take that sensibility and transform it into a concept album which is more bleak in its reality than it is uplifting.
Lead singer, Kristine Leschper, voices late-night concerns via a cathartic expressiveness that begs for our ears’ attention. It sounds soothing on first listen but upon closer inspection, the lyricism is troubling: “I was crushed by the weight of my own ego/But never honest enough to say it.” Fans of Daughter and Beach House will dig the classic production (little electronic meddling) and raw, honest lyricism. Leschper’s voice also reminds me of Karen O at times, as she moves from whispering verses to a yelping chorus.
When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is an album for a certain mood and certain time of day. From the calculated strings combing through ‘Nesting Behaviour’ to the bass drum striking the end of every sad phrase in ‘Copper Mines’, each track has an element of sorrow that adds a heaviness to the whole listen.
Unlike the pop ballad artist experience (think Adele) which encourages an emotional expression that is loud and clear, Mothers draw upon the flip side, which is a paralysing sadness. ‘Lockjaw’ features familiar enough pop lyrics “you love me most when I’m leaving” but when put at a slow tempo, behind rough guitar strums and minimalist production, the lyrics become exposed. It is also one of the few tracks with an instrumental break – the focus is definitely on the words.
In fact, the musicality is very similar throughout the entire album and percussion takes a backseat – perhaps to allow us to drift into thoughts. There is no real standout track as the stories bleed into each other. It requires you to dig deep and sit still, reflecting upon the tragic tales in song and indubitably forcing us to remember our own tragedies.
By Antigone Anagnostellis. /@AAnagnostellis