Motherfolk are not a folk band, although they certainly have that feel at times. No, they are decidedly a rock band that feels down to earth despite their at times irreverent social media presence.
The tone of this record is so feel good and approachable that when you really dig into the lyrics, you’ll be shook. No kidding, I was about to text a friend that works with this band that this album was gonna set the tone for my holiday season because of how organic and down-to-earth it feels, but upon closer examination I can’t let it define a happy time of year. That said, I can still enjoy the emotions it cultivates in me, even when there’s a disconnect between the lyrics and the music.
The disconnect is by design. It almost feels like a disservice to the band to even call the contrast a disconnect—it flows seamlessly together. The chorus to album opener “Kill the Sun” reads thus: “You probably think that I’m trying to kill myself / Cause I don’t give a damn about my health / But underneath it all, I’m scared as hell / Of what comes after this.” You get a healthy dose of what to expect from the rest of the album right here: apathy, frustration, despair, and existential questioning. There is resolution, but it might not be the resolution you want (more on that later).
Listening to this album feels like what might have happened if Local Natives hung with The Head and the Heart for awhile, and then ditched most of the experimental elements for more straight up authenticity. Some atmospheric elements are present, but mostly the band just wants you to have fun, in spite of how dark their lyricism might get.
At it’s core, the music of Motherfolk seems to be about acknowledging the darker parts of life unabashedly and having fun anyway. You might find what you’re looking for along the way. The last song on the record seems to indicate finding some level of truth, though it isn’t one I’m personally comfortable with. I personally don’t believe that truth is subjective, but there is a lesson to be learned here in letting your personal healing take you to places you might not have anticipated, which is an admirable thing to write about. And, the fact that Motherfolk can write an album ending song like “You and Me,” which leads with the following declaration, “Finally I’ve opened my eyes / The veil is torn and nothing behind / No help, no one, no heaven in these skies / No God of love, no father of lies,” and sing about finding joy in life in spite of this apparent discovery, and a hot-blooded Christian like me can still enjoy the song—that’s something noteworthy!
Speaking of Christians, Motherfolk played the Cornerstone Festival successor of sorts Audiofeed this summer and had a warm reception. Case in point.
This album really snuck up on me, I have to admit. Top 10 candidate?