Initially the solo-project of ex-visual arts student Kristine Leschper, Mothers is a folk indie-rock band from Athens, Georgia. When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired debuted on the 26th of February, produced by Drew Vandenberg (who has worked alongside Deerhunter and Of Montreal). The title comes from a book Leschper discovered years ago in a French village. It’s a book in itself, a journal of human condition; full of startling honesty and vulnerability. It’s not the kind of album you can move on from after one song. It sweeps you off your feet; takes you to a soothing realm of existential questioning, beauty and darkness whilst quietly recalling the likes of Angel Olsen or Joanna Newsom.
The opening track, Too Small For Eyes describes feeling uncomfortable in one’s body; quiet mandolin introducing the melancholy feel, delicately irritating your tear ducts. Leschper is thick with emotion, her voices swoops and soars shakily, you wore me like a necklace/You closed me like a locket. It’s so pretty you want to save it and listen to it somewhere equally as pretty; early evening car journeys with the sun flashing through the trees, to zone out and pretend you’re in a sad movie montage. It Hurts Until It Doesn’t follows suit, an alternative rock affair; grainy guitars slow throughout, into almost a ballad, an afterword: I don’t like myself/When I’m awake. The spontaneity: shifts in tempo and melody continue throughout the album. You love me mostly when I’m leaving, she wails on rock lullaby Lockjaw, before a seizure of guitars.
Copper Mines, tethers on a lethargic Courtney Barnett melody and stream of consciousness style before a clashing crescendo. Whilst with Nesting Behaviour, Leschper croons sorrowfully over cello strings. She has described her visual art work based on “motherly instincts and nature” in relation to the song, inspired by her own pet rabbits. “I’m interested in the idea of sacrificing yourself for art” she continued on the subject; in the sense of mothers sacrificing themselves for their young.
And evidently the album is an art form of honesty; the artist does not lie to herself, surrendering a great deal of emotion within the confines of eight songs. You can hear the craftsmanship behind every note. It’s compellingly dark, almost comfortingly so.