steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Secret Mommy

"Plays" CD

Ache Records

Genre: electronic, experimental

March 2007

i think of secret mommy as a more abstract and disjointed mouse on mars. ok, perhaps there's a bit more than that, but on tracks like "grand about the mouth" and "the tale of a bird hit by lightning" it's hard not to draw a comparison. but there's a catch. according to the liner notes, no synths, drum machines, or "any other non-organic or electrified instrument" were used on this. while that doesn't mean the music hasn't been edited and manipulated in the studio, it is interesting to note that everything that was sourced was organic. this results in a rich play upon the "electronic music" convention, with a nice selection of instruments joining the mix: we've got acoustic guitar, sax, ukelele, flute, mandolin, stand up bass and a whole boatload more. given the ambition of this project i'm surprised it didn't get lost at the drawing board. you listen to songs like "grand about the mouth" and atmospheric "up on mt. okay" and you see why ache records put this out - this is fresh, ingenious music that deserves to be heard by all. at once folky, electronic, and jazzy, this cross-curricular batch of songs works well as a whole or piece by piece. plays' disjointed nature perhaps presents it as something of a soundscape, but the rhythms and melody provide an innate accessibility nonetheless. long and short, plays is a flowing, morphing record that denies pigeonholing and deserves your attention.


youuuuuuuutube!: "kool aid river" video, "plays" video

coxwell balaban

[Vitals: 12 tracks, 47:03, distributed by the label, released 2006]