The 3rd Best Canadian Album of 2008 finally receives its UK release as their long awaited 'new' material is put back from a planned fall date to "sometime next year". Time and scheduling are possibly not one of Mother Mother's high notes. O My Heart is the 5 piece Vancouver bands follow up to their twice released debut 'Touch Up'. (Once by them and then reworked and enhanced for label release). Produced by Howard Redekopp, a former producer for fellow countrymen The New Pornographers, O My Heart shares many similar attributes to their former label mates. Clever, creative and harmonious power pop bursting with energy and piquancy.
Ryan Guldemond has a slightly retrospective writing style reminiscent of certain 80's and early 90's indie bands. The title track, O My Heart, comes in with a sound that recalls the best bits of Split Enz, using sibling harmonies From Ryan and Molly pitched with a suitably thumping beat. The speed drops off for 'Burning Pile' as more multi-layered vocals frame a playful piano and string enhanced lament. Another of the albums highlights is up next. 'Body Of Years' captures the sensibility of O My Heart with its well worked vocalisation, tight and inventive musicianship and literary lyrics.....
"Like a sheet of veneer,
each a piece of my soul,
it's a body of years that I leave all alone,
it's just a body of years not a pile of bones.
Elsewhere on O My Heart Jeremy Page adds some great individual flavour with his delicate horn work. Both 'Try To Change' and the playfully Charleston sampling 'Wisdom' benefit from the sharp and subtle notes. The theatrical electricity the band generates through the many instrumental and vocal changes gives each of the songs both individuality and coherence. 'Body' sees the band explore their roles further with the introduction of more strings coupled with some very deft drum work courtesy of Ali Siadat. 'Hay Loft' (A recent acoustic performance of which was recorded at The Great Escape Festival) neatly melds together a B52's meets Tom Tom Club sound very effectively. 'Wrecking Ball' uses yet more bouncing harmonies in something approaching a stage musical number, whilst 'Miles' reveals a more sombre side to the band. Rounding off the twelve songs of O My Heart is 'Sleep Awake'. The minimal and soft instrumentation complimenting a haunting refrain highlighting the diversity on the album.
A long time in coming, but mostly worth the wait, O My Heart should easily elevate the bands European profile. Packed with quality tunes, crisp arrangements and a refreshingly perky disposition O My Heart showcases the talents of Mother Mother very nicely indeed.