Listen to your Mother Mother

“I don’t think I’d ever want to do that.”

That’s how Ryan Guldemond responded when asked to describe his music. The lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Mother Mother clearly didn’t want to define his art, which is understandable…even respectable.

However, this past year has been such a whirlwind for the Vancouver five-piece – releasing the critically-acclaimed indie-rock stunner O My Heart, touring constantly, winning and being nominated for a slew of awards, and generally spreading their music across the nation like never before – that it should stand to reason that enough people out there could do what Guldemond could not: sum up Mother Mother’s music and express it to other people.

The Flec’ went around Mount Royal Wyckham House with a portable stereo blasting O My Heart, and took down students’ reactions to what they heard. Despite constant skipping of the CD and the occasional naysayer, we were able to find a number of people who were more than keen to wax philosophical on a truly great band.

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Emma Villeneuve
English major
Song playing: “O My Heart” 

“I like their harmonies. When I heard this song, I didn’t think that they were a duet-ty band; I didn’t know they had a male singer and a female singer until I heard the whole album. This song is really catchy, I find myself listening to it all the time…and I like catchy songs, so I really like [this band]. I think there’s a lot of elements to their sound.”

Colette Clark
Nursing student
Song playing: “Burning Pile”

“This really reminds me of Tegan and Sara. It’s sort of the same mellow, folksy but quirky kind of rock that they do. This is cool.”

Ian Gayler
Anthropology major
Song playing: “Try to Change” 

“This is like rainy day music…like when you’re stuck inside and you don’t want to do homework, you just want to curl up and sort of drift along. It’s good.”

Jess Lanz
Nursing student
Song playing: “Burning Pile”

“What’s that movie about the Beatles? Across the Universe, yeah. It kind takes me back to that, very dreamy and psychedelic. I’d listen to this again.”

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There you have it: sometimes music and art can be better described by those who didn’t create it.

If you like what your fellow students had to say, Mother Mother will be playing two shows at the Jack Singer Concert Hall opening for Matthew Good on Nov. 15 and 18. Mark your calendars accordingly, and if you haven’t picked up their album yet…well, you’ve probably skipped this article already.

Originally published November 5, 2009