Austin indie classical big band Mother Falcon trade in their symphonic swoop for low-down, low-key funk 'n roll on "Can't Stand The Rain!" 

The rain's a funny thing. On one hand, it brings up warm, cozy memories; summoning images of coffee shops with fogged, steamy windows; the sound of soft drizzle hitting the windowpane. On the other, it's cold, wet, depressing, sometimes even life-threatening. Ask someone caught in a hurricane if they think the rain is soothing. 

Austin's Mother Falcon certainly doesn't seem to find precipitation comforting. Maybe it's because it's sunny there 228 days out of the year. Perhaps they're just not used to the introspective, sometimes painful nostalgia that inclement weather can summon. 

"Can't Stand The Rain" sonically simulates the brooding, claustrophobic climate of a rainy day, as well as emoting about it. It trades in the 17-piece indie orchestra's usual triumphant, soaring symphonic strings and woodwinds for a more closed in, confined groove. It's like Mother Falcon decamped their Texas home for another Southern musical mecca - New Orleans. Rather than the grandiosity of their earlier work, which brings to mind other symphonic indie acts like Sufjan Stevens or the ebullient choral music of The Polyphonic Spree, Mother Falcon's epic big band is more misty and mysterious, more funky and rhythmic. The track is built around a clattering claptrap of junkyard percussion, which is shot through with skeins of clarinet, saxophone, and stand-up bass, before breaking into an absolutely thrilling funk breakdown, like the Rebirth Brass Band covering Tom Waits. 


"Can't Stand The Rain" follows up last year's adaptation of Peter and the Wolf, which Mother Falcon scored for the Lionheart Theater. Maybe the band got their fill of writing cinematic, classical scores and themes. "Can't Stand The Rain" sounds personal - loose and funky, with a lot of heart. Hearing low-slung funk attacked with classical precision and chops is truly a thing of beauty and wonder. It's like bringing together the divergent tributaries of jazz and classical music to form one big, beautiful river of song. 

Mother Falcon may not be able to stand the rain, but it certainly brings the best out in them. "Can't Stand The Rain" could be the track that brings Mother Falcon to more widespread acceptance. We Are: The Guard certainly hope so! More symphonic indie music, please!


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.