With the world roiled by fear and division borne out of politics, economic uncertainty, and terrorism, perhaps there is no better time for the arrival of music underpinned by the belief that love wins. Into the maw of anxiety comes No Culture, which posits that society uses negative byproducts of culture - such as narcissism, hedonism, and addiction - as a means to nurture its fears of the unknown. "If we can strip back what feeds our differences, and just connect as people we might be more united at a time where we really need to be," says Mother Mother's frontman, guitarist, and lyricist Ryan Guldemond.
On the bands' new studio album, Mother Mother continue to honor their synth-driven sound with aspects of alternative pop, creating a shimmering blend of strong hooks, big beats, ethereal vocals, and sing-along choruses, with a sprinkle of punk rock energy thrown in.
Following the release of their breakthrough album Very Good Bad Thing, Mother Mother toured the U.S. extensively, including dates with AWOLNATION and Imagine Dragons, racking up top chart positions and awards along the way.So, it comes as no surprise that the band were feeling some pressure from fans to deliver a major follow-up.
When it came time to write, Guldemond retired to a home studio he had built in the woods on the family's very property where he and sister Molly (vocalist and keyboards) grew up. "It was so perfect and quiet that it became deafening and self-defeating," he says. Three months before heading there, Guldemond put down a long habit of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. After a few months of sobriety, the honeymoon wore off and he fell into a depression. A debilitating period of writer's block ensued, which inspired the single "Love Stuck."
"The song is really about the condition of over-thinking and how it creates blockades against creativity," Guldemond says. "I wrote this on my birthday at the height of my depression and so, always having believed in the magic and synchronicity of the universe, despite not feeling it at the time, I told myself that some element of cosmic numerology would inform the birth of a song."
It turns out that exploring life, songwriting, and their own identity - and being clear of mind and substances during the year that No Culture was written and recorded - resulted in Mother Mother's most emotionally honest, vulnerable, and least cynical album to date.
But just because the album's themes skew dark does not mean the sonic mood of No Culture is gloomy. "It's not a down record," Guldemond says. "There's never a dark theme that isn't accompanied by an answer or a way out. And it was crucial to take introspective themes and prop them up with energized and optimistic music. Sometimes sadness is better carried in a vehicle of happiness."
"I think a story is better told when you're not so entrenched in living it," he says. "I look forward to performing these songs from the vantage point of having moved on from what led to their creation in the first place."
Mother Mother is Ryan Guldemond on guitar and vocals, Molly Guldemond on vocals and keyboards, Jasmin Parkin on keyboards and vocals, Ali Siadat on drums and percussion, and Mike Young on bass.
For more information on Mother Mother, please visit the band on the web at www.mothermothersite.com
"No Culture" Track Listing:
2. Love Stuck
3. The Drugs
4. Back In School
6. Baby Boy
7. Mouth Of The Devil
8. No Culture
9. Everything Is Happening
11. Empty Hands
13. Cut The String
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