MOTHER FALCON - YOU ARE
Austin's Mother Falcon returns with a joyful orchestral noise on "You Are," a beautiful emotive ballad about letting the right one in.
"I jumped out of my skin/Rarely do I let anyone in/But there you are, cocooned in white," sings Nick Gregg in his distinctive silken croon towards the beginning of "You Are," over a sprawling tapestry of orchestral strings and woodwinds. It might be hard to believe that members of Mother Falcon could ever be calloused, given the wispy, wistful nature of their orchestral pop. If you've ever listened to any of Mother Falcon's previous work, or any indie or neoclassical music in general, it kind of makes sense.
MOTHER FALCON - YOU ARE
Mother Falcon's earliest albums were a whirlwind of frenetic fretted instruments - sawing violins and groaning cellos, serving as a trellis for flutes and clarinets to reach for the sun like marigolds and morning glories. Accordions, bazoukis, and bassoons also help to give a vaguely European flavor to the proceedings, somewhere between klezmer and Parisian cabaret jazz. While Mother Falcon's music is always noteworthy - how could it not with a rotating cast of between 12 - 14 musicians? Yet, for all of their bombast, for all of their rich polyphony, their technical prowess and interesting instrumentation, there could sometimes be the tiniest disconnect in their earlier music. It was like they were trying to get in every sound, from every culture, all at once. Like throwing a bowl of alphabet soup at the wall and hoping for a best-selling novel.
In all their frenetic fury, however, a certain poignancy could sometimes be lost. It's like the difference between an actor reading their lives vs. inhabiting a part.
That distinction need no longer be made, however, if "You Are" is any indication. Mother Falcon now seem to be dwelling inside the sound. It's a subtle but powerful difference.
All of the amazing arrangements, the graceful vocals, the powerful strings are all there, same as they ever were. But now they seem to be radiating outwards from a still center. Mother Falcon may have a hard time letting others in, but it seems the light comes along for the ride when they do. In the meanwhile, a certain redemption of orchestral pop takes place, replacing the bloated pretension of prog and the overt earnestness of indie rock with something graceful, delicate, emotional, and real. It's told with a masterful tonal vocabulary, though, with violins and cellos spelling out the reaching, grasping yearning of wanting someone so bad. This is the sound of longing, of excitement, of pain and growth. It's the sound of growing up and falling in love.
We Are: The Guard couldn't be more proud to help usher in this amazing new single! Mother Falcon are gearing up for a showcase in their native Austin for the upcoming SXSW festival. It's going to be a good one if "You Are" is any indication. If you're going to be in Austin for the fest, drop by and check 'em out! You probably won't see any other 15-piece orchestras there, even with thousands of bands in attendance. That alone tells you something about Mother Falcon and how special they are.
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.