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Music / Mother Mother

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Mother Mother is a Canadian Indie Rock band from British Columbia. The band was named "Mother" upon their formation in 2005, but they changed their name to "Mother Mother" prior to the release of their second album.

Their music often carries a spooky feel and showcases an eclectic range of influences, and frequently covers niche and emotionally dark subject matter.

They've enjoyed success in their native Canada as well as an international cult following since they first started receiving radio play in the early 2010's - but in the early 2020's, they blew up further in popularity due to their songs, particularly "Hayloft", gaining traction for use in TikToks.

Mother Mother currently consists of: Ryan Guldemond (guitar and vocals), Molly Guldemond (keyboard and vocals), Jasmin Parkin (keyboard and vocals), Mike Young (bass), and Ali Siadat (drums).


  • Mother (2005)
  • Touch Up (2007; a re-release of "Mother" with new songs)
  • O My Heart (2008)
  • Eureka (2011)
  • The Sticks (2012)
  • Very Good Bad Thing (2014)
  • No Culture (2017)
  • Dance and Cry (2018)
  • Inside (2021)
  • Inside (Deluxe) (2022; a rerelease of Inside with the addition of "Hayloft 2")

This band provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The dad in "Hayloft" - particularly if one assumes the last verse isn't hyperbole, judging by how he responds to finding out his child and their sweetheart are shagging in the eponymous location by grabbing his gun to go kill both of them.
  • A God Am I: The narrator of "O Ana" opens the song by swearing they'll be god... in reference to the tremendous feat they feel it'll be to rid themselves of the titular "Ana", likely a struggle with anorexia. As their efforts continue, their declaration turns into one of playing god, then of merely faking being a god, reflecting their fading hopes in their ability to keep "Ana" at bay.
  • The All-Concealing "I": While it's not at all rare for songs in the band's catalogue to use gendered language for their perspectives and characters, more often than not, their lyrics are simply written in first-person to a "you". The gender-neutrality of most of their music and frequency with which relationships portrayed can be interpreted as any kind a listener connects with certainly doesn't hurt their having a sizable LGBTQIA+ fanbase.
  • All Take and No Give: "Oleander" is sung from the perspective of a taker in such a relationship.
    I make a mess, and you'll be there to help me undress
    I'll be unclean, I'll be obscene, you'll be the rest
  • Anti-Love Song:
    • "Oleander", wherein the singer describes everything they've come to expect their partner to do for them when they act destructively and states that they'd die without them, with no in-character indication of awareness that there is nothing sweet or romantic about their words until they liken themselves to the titular poisonous plant.
    • "Let's Fall In Love" doesn't have an especially high opinion of the titular emotion, describing it as a commonplace yet unlucky and thoughtless thing that just kind of happens to people and animals, whoever they are, and that leaves them with regrets.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: How the narrator of "Infinitesimal" ultimately comes across. They start out by comparing the vastness of the universe to how they fuss about their personal demons as an infinitesimal being - but move on from there to pointing out that even the Big Bang is said to have originated from one tiny point, and speak with fascination about how even individual grains of sand are large and complex on a subatomic scale, painting a picture of belief in one's life and experiences being as meaningful as one chooses to make them.
    My soul
    You think it's so infinitesimal
  • Appearance Angst: "Body" can be interpreted this way.
    'Cos I've grown tired of this body,
    A cumbersome and heavy body
    Fall apart without me, body
  • Big Town Boredom: A frequent theme in The Sticks. Many of the songs are about escapism or wishing for isolation from people. In the title track the protagonist wants to get "away from all the la-di-da". The song is also referenced in "Bit by Bit" where the plan seems to be put into action.
  • Break Up Song: "Ghosting" is about the process of really, truly letting go of a lover on an emotional level and accepting your separation after having clung to them past the point of it being healthy, especially for them; "Very Good Bad Thing" is about breaking off a Destructive Romance despite the thrill and sense of power both parties derived from it; and "Love Stuck" is about working to reconnect with one's emotions after a breakup and learn to make oneself happy.
  • Broken Bird: "Hayloft II" describes the ultimate fates of the characters from "Hayloft", revealing that the surviving member of the couple, after killing her father, "got lost" in a dangerous street punk life, still traumatized and heartbroken after the death of her lover.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Ryan Guldemond has described "The Stand" as the result of him imagining a silly conversation in his head between a misanthropic man and an inquisitive, more impressionable woman, then putting it to music. The lyrics take the form of a woman cheerfully asking a man about himself as he casually opens up about his vices, anxieties, and cynical qualities in what sounds like a party or similar social environment.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The Guldemonds are siblings, and are the two members of the band who've remained consistent since founding it with friend and former member Debra-Jean Creelman in 2005.
  • BSoD Song: The singer of "Happy" feels so severely depressed and empty that even the idea of being happy seems hollow and insufficient to strive for.
  • Camp Straight: The singer in "Verbatim"; he delivers lyrics like "I wear women's underwear," and yet he still insists he's straight.
    I cross my legs just like a queer,
    But my libido is strong when a lady is near!
  • Careful with That Axe: The second verse of "Verbatim" is preceded with a harsh scream, and a distant, piercing shriek cuts through the fade leading up to the final verse on "Hayloft II".
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The protagonist of "Little Pistol" comes across this way, believing that someone, most likely the government or some other agency, is tracking them through a chip they implanted in their head.
    Under the skin, against the skull,
    They put a little chip so that they know it all.
  • Cool-Down Hug: The narrator of "Calm Me Down" turns to intimacy with his partner for peace when overcome by anger and distress that he previously would've taken out self-destructively.
  • Crossdresser: The first verse in "Verbatim" describes a man who likes wearing women's underwear.
  • Destructive Romance: "Oleander" describes a relationship between a person prone to destructive/self-destructive behavior and the Living Emotional Crutch they rely on to coddle them and clean up their messes; and "Very Good Bad Thing" is a Break Up Song for a wild romance in which both participants enjoyed deriving a sense of power from their antics, but were putting each other and themselves in danger by enabling each other.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: "Arms Tonite", although it's unlikely to be literal.
    Hey you, don't you think it's kind of cute
    That I died right inside your arms tonight,
    That I'm fine, even after I have died,
    Because it was in your arms I died?
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: "Little Pistol" alludes to this, considering that the protagonist already views their life and the world around them as a living hell.
    And now I want brimstone in my garden
    I want roses set on fire.
  • Flower Motifs: The singer of "Oleander" likens themselves to the titular flower - which represents danger, as, like them, it's toxic.
  • From New York to Nowhere: "Dirty Town" is about someone moving from their town to live on a farm in the country, and "Bit by Bit" is about a person setting out to leave a life surrounded by other people behind and make a minimalistic new home for themselves (and maybe a "mistress") in the mountains.
  • The Hedonist: The narrator of "Reaper Man" loves raising hell, is an exhibitionist who uses women for sex, and goes out of his way to be provocative for no apparent purpose. He's aware that the way he behaves is fucked up, stating he destroys everything good and describing the way his mind works as "ugliness", but judging by the song's bridge, he considers his self-indulgence to be an exercise in staying free and accepting himself for the kind of person he is.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: The narrator of "It's Alright" dwells and beats themselves up over their mistakes and dysfunctional qualities. The chorus is their conscience striving to assure them that messing up sometimes doesn't make them a bad person and that the actions they judge themselves for make sense at the time, but they admit they're terrified their negatives are what really reflect who they are before they let the compassionate self-talk take over.
  • I Am a Monster: The protagonist of "It's Alright" needs to be reminded that this is not the case.
  • Intercourse with You: "Arms Tonite" (probably, maybe) and "Calm Me Down", although in turn they're more specifically about finishing too early and about the mental state of a narrator who turns to sex with their partner to relieve emotional turmoil.
  • It Amused Me: In "Wrecking Ball," the reason the protagonist destroys so many things, both literally and figuratively, is "just because [they] can."
  • Kill It with Fire: The singer metaphorically does this to their problems in "Burning Pile".
  • Knight Templar Parent: The dad in "Hayloft" seems to be this.
    Young lovers with their legs tied up in knots
    With his long, tall gun, Pop went a-creeping,
    To blow their hayloft dead-heads straight off
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Relationships involving at least one party serving as this to another feature in multiple songs.
    • "Oleander" has an intensely dependent narrator who counts on their partner to support them and clean up the fallout for them as they engage in destructive behavior, stating that they'd die without them.
    • The singer of "Calm Me Down" desperately describes affection and intimacy with his partner as having a purifying and soothing effect on his turbulent mental states, mentioning having had a history of Self-Harm before them and spending the final verse wishing to be a better and happier person under their influence.
    • The narrator of "Mouth of the Devil" recounts a hollowly hedonistic past with a partner in crime with whom "we would steal each other's grief", who they beg to come back lest they "slip into the past".
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Mouth of the Devil" is a little of an unusual example. The protagonist reminisces about wild, troubled, substance-fueled days spent with a past flame with whom they acted as mutual Living Emotional Crutches, and ironically fears they'll relapse into their old ways without what the two of them had.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Far from unheard of when it comes to the band. A number of their songs have laid-back or fun instrumentals, but are as apt as the rest of their catalogue to delve into some rather nihilistic and less-than-cheerful lyrical content.
    • The acoustic instrumental of "Neighbor" is so chill and unassuming that it'd fit a song about going for a morning stroll or picking up lunch, and it's about a voyeur and their parasocial relationship with their victim next door.
    • "Arms Tonite", if interpreted metaphorically, is just a fun, cute, down-to-earth love song about being a little self-conscious during an intimate moment. If interpreted literally, it still sounds fun and cute - but more than you'd probably expect from a song about being glad to die in your lover's arms.
    • "The Stand" is a lively, colorful, downright danceable song in which a man nonchalantly admits he's afraid of everyone around him, is sensorily overloaded, and that "Everyone's fucked and they don't even know".
    • "Let's Fall In Love" is an energetic, charged-up, confident-sounding rock tune... that makes its titular declaration very cynically.
      Stupid does it, ugly do it,
      Only the unlucky of us get to do it
      Mommy did it, Daddy did it,
      Even though I bet they wish they really didn't
    • "Bottom is a Rock" straight-up sounds like a rousing glam rock anthem... and it's about the fact that mental illness often works in cycles, and that a person living with it is liable to come to expect their good days and best efforts at managing it to end with them back at square one.
  • Murder Ballad: "Hayloft II". It clarifies that after the original "Hayloft", one half of the couple in the barn is, indeed, shot and killed by the father of the other, who is (understandably) traumatized... and driven to revenge.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Get Up" urges the listener to stop being overwhelmed by their desires and start the process of fulfilling them by putting themselves out there and living.
  • Quirky Household: The subject of "Family", an ode of loyalty, love, and support to a clan who others view as wild and uncouth outsiders.
    A motley crew, a rodeo
    A goddamn zoo, a circus show
    But oh, don't you know how it goes?
    We are all walking each other home
  • Repetitive Name: Mother Mother.
  • Roll in the Hay: "Hayloft", which states its scenario started with a "creaking" in the titular location, giving way to a young couple falling asleep there... soon to be discovered by one half's shotgun-bearing father.
  • Self-Harm: In "Oh Ana", the protagonist mentions cutting their wrists, and the protagonist of "Calm Me Down" also mentions a history of cutting.
  • Spurned into Suicide: The singer of "Oleander" threatens their object of affection with this, stating that "if you leave me, rest assured it would kill me".
  • Stalker without a Crush: "Neighbor" is about a voyeuristic, stalker neighbor.
  • Sucky School: The protagonist of "Back in School" believes their school to be this.
    Back in school, back in chains
    Back in school, back in my cage
  • Take That!:
    • "Aspiring Fires" is a sardonic admonishment of those with romanticized, commodified, "quirky" views of mental illness.
      Maybe you're watching too much TV
      'Cause crazy in the box
      Is everything that crazy's not
    • "No Culture" is a rather blunt and aggressive song about cultural appropriation in the negative sense, i.e. when people co-opt elements of cultures that they do not especially try to understand into their own personae until their meanings and origins become obscured.
      So can we let sleeping dogs lie?
      'Cause everyone believes me when I say it's mine
  • The Tragic Rose: "Little Pistol" makes symbolic references to roses and roses burning.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • "Arms Tonite", in which the singer describes dying in their lover's arms in a way that sounds rather, ah, Shakespearean, especially given that while they're distressed afterward to be "dead" while said lover is still "alive", they see fit to ask if their partner finds the situation cute.
    • The male singer in "The Stand" starts talking about women when asked about his weaknesses. When the female singer calls him a handful for it and he responds that "I forgot about handfuls...", Ryan Guldemond has confirmed that he's thinking of boobs.
  • Vocal Tag Team: While Ryan Guldemond takes center stage vocally on most of the band's output, you're just about sure to hear Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin prominently on any given track as well, whether simultaneously, on backup, or with all three vocalists taking turns on a song.
  • Weight Woe: The most common interpretation of "Oh Ana" is that it's about an anorexic person dealing with their illness. The narrator of "I Go Hungry" also mentions starving himself before a date as part of his efforts to crowbar himself into an image he believes will make him more attractive to others.