Mother Mother // Supplied

Mother Mother’s re-emergence of self

Mother Mother w/ Said The Whale
Feb. 15 (8 pm)
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

The last month has been busy for Canadian indie rock band Mother Mother. The group has been on the road, making its way up the west coast of the States, and just finished a six-show run on Vancouver Island.

“The vibe is good. The shows are smooth—I’d say it’s the best tour yet,” lead singer Ryan Guldemond says.

All the touring has been in support of Mother Mother’s seventh studio album, titled Dance and Cry—which was released November of last year.

Dance and Cry is about the relationship between healing and pain, and the title, well, that’s a metaphor for this notion that in order to find peace you need to get close to your internal warfare or demons and resolve those truly,” Guldemond says.

The album is quite personal, drawing from a “challenging” breakup he recently went through.

“Breakups often stir up questions about who we are, who we’re not, how fraudulent we’ve been with ourselves or our soul’s calling—questions that can hopefully catalyze a re-emergence of self and spirit and direction,” he says. “It’s not so much a breakup record as it is a finding yourself record, but it was the breakup that pushed those themes.”

Though Guldemond wrote most of the album by himself, he did collaborate from  time to time. These collaborations weren’t the standard idea of co-writing, however.

“As I was going through a hard time, a friend sent me a poem that she wrote and the first line was very potent. So I took that, and wrote a song around it called ‘Only Love,’” Guldemond says. “There were collaborations of this ilk, where it was less formally getting together to write a song and more just connecting as friends and then ideas would give birth in that context.”

Guldemond wrote a number of the songs on the album while on a trip to Costa Rica, including the album’s title track “Dance and Cry” and the first single “Get Up.”

You know what you gotta do.

“It was a time of personal upheaval and redefining oneself. A good way to amplify that is to get out of your comfort zone and go to places where the version of yourself you’re used to doesn’t have footing,” he says. “You’re forced to be new. You’re forced to lean on foreign aspects of yourself. Taking a trip is a great way to further that metamorphosis.”

Also in the band is Guldemond’s sister, Molly. Their musical partnership began when Guldemond was 21 and needed a place to stay in Vancouver. His sister had an extra room, so he moved in. During this time, he was studying music in college and would often hang out in the living room playing songs.

“She would organically start singing along and it sounded good, and thus that collaboration was born,” he says.  

Guldemond admits that Molly is the more responsible one out of the two of them, but he’s definitely more responsible now than he has been.

“When I was off my leash, so to speak, she was never really good at keeping me in line, but, she tried more than anybody else,” he says. “She’s a good one.”

– Alex Sorochan

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