- by paul_guyet Rating:9 Release Date:2018-11-02 Label: Metal Blade Records
Mother Feather’s 2016 debut introduced the world at large to “pop cock rock”. It was a fierce, fiery primer for this new, unique genre. Rather than take a few small steps further into the classroom to present Advanced Theories of Pop Cock Rocking with their new album, Constellation Baby, Brooklyn's Mother Feather have decided to slingshot listeners into outer space, which, as it happens, is the only place able to hold all the power they’ve unleashed here. Gone are the songs about skate parks and spending summers at the beach with friends, what’s on offer this time around are anthems about regret, sorrow, and the female future. There’s a fragility to this follow-up and it does so much to highlight lead singer Ann Courtney’s versatility, but there’s still enough balls to make one deliciously uncomfortable. As before, Chris Foley and Gunnar Olsen (plus new bassist Seth Ondracek) flow together perfectly while Lizzie Carena’s backing vocals and subtle keys underscore, unite, and bolster everything.
The title track is almost paralyzing beautiful, built around a warm wash of synths and a series of simple benedictions: "may that wicked weight on your mind be as light as a feather tonight / may you always be bonafide / may your only darkness be the starry night”. Along with these kind wishes comes the repetition of “let a girl be your guide” which, alone, is a beautiful statement, but in the context of the band’s manifesto and vibe, and this horrible world in which we exist, it’s so, so much more. On a personal note, I’d like to nominate ”Shake Your Magic 8 Ball” for the Grammy for Best Use of the Word ‘Icosahedron’ in a Song…Ever. "Snakebite" is only a minute and fifty-one seconds because THAT’S ALL YOU CAN HANDLE. Seriously, every time I hear this track I envision Courtney and Carena instigating a bar fight in the deep south and winning. And then burning the place down because their jukebox sucked, “Supernatural” unfolds like a galactic chrysanthemum, and the heartfelt double punch of Foley's "Purple Rain" guitar and Courtney’s naked vulnerability on the closer is more than enough to bring listeners to tears, and that outro gives people something to float away on.
While still flirty and impish at times, there's a palpable sense of growth, maturity, strength, and evolution here. The only thing missing from Mother Feather’s first was a ballade or two…communique received. Constellation Baby is as glorious, glittering and multifaceted as the night sky itself. You don't listen to this album, you get lost in it.