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Mothers Brings Sensitive Sensibility to Freak Folk Rock

Many Miles to Go Before Sleep

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With the late February release of its debut record, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, indie-rock quartet Mothers plunge into the melancholic singersongwriter tradition upheld by a string of stormy songstresses harboring somewhere left of the dial.

Featuring idiosyncratic vocals reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom coupled with the melodic sensibilities of more contemporary folk outfits like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, the ensemble is the fleshedout project of frontwoman Kristine Leschper, an alumna of the Lamar Dodd School of Art who garnered a deal of success as a solo artist in her college town of Athens, Georgia.

Featuring idiosyncratic vocals reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom coupled with the melodic sensibilities of more contemporary folk outfits like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, the ensemble is the fleshedout project of frontwoman Kristine Leschper, an alumna of the Lamar Dodd School of Art who garnered a deal of success as a solo artist in her college town of Athens, Georgia.

A thoroughly conceptualized example of freak folk for the thinking man — an eccentric species of folk music hovering on the brink of the avant-garde — the album succeeds in analyzing the plaintive motions of heartbreak from an artist’s discerning perspective. Indeed, as Leschper’s mezzo-soprano gracefully dances across a series of contrasting pitches, we witness a painfully selfaware spirit confront her own character flaws while examining the shards of a collapsed relationship: “You love me mostly when I’m leaving / I was half gone when you met me,” she decidedly muses in “Lockjaw.”

While Mothers doesn’t revolutionize the indie rock genre on any dramatic level, it manages to accomplish the feat of portraying the emotive exhaustion of the journey from defeat to closure in just over 40 minutes. From the shimmering mandolins of “Too Small For Eyes” to the roots rock slow burn of “Hold Your Own Hand,” Mothers guides its listener through an invisible odyssey across the jagged landscape of loss that risks never coming to full completion, a lyrical revelation that beautifully unfolds as simple, honest and universal truth.

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