It appears lately that everyone is coming out of hiding to gather and engage in customs we previously took for granted. For NYC-based Mommyheads, who has been making music on and off since 1987, that last 13 months not only saw them avoid performing together but also saw the release of one of its most daunting new albums – New Kings Of Pop. With shades of tasty melodic indie rock, loose-limbed guitar, and echoey effects; Mommyhead remains musically relevant, yet somehow still flies poignantly under the radar. Yet, New Kings of Pop charted at #56 on College radio last year making it the band’s highest-charting LP on College Radio.
“We’ve always been enamored and bewildered by the art of making records since we were teenagers. I personally like any chance to disprove that albums are just antiquated documents of the past and singles are the only real viable way forward for musicians. It still seems incredible how all those bands we’ve loved over the years, could somehow make mini-musical journeys and keep our attention for forty-plus minutes. It still seems like magic. Here we are, 30 plus years later and we’re still striving to make what we feel is a “great record,” says vocalist/lead guitarist Adam Elk.
The band recently got together for the first time since lockdown and challenged themselves to play New Kings Of Pop in its entirety for a livestream at the historic Q Division studios in Somerville, Massachusetts. The formidable results are below, which Glide is proud to premiere the pre-broadcasted set.
“The challenge was intense because we’ve actually never played these songs together before this concert. It also seemed like a good idea to collectively fight back against the covid winter doldrums. So after being in lockdown and dormant for over a year, we all practiced our parts for months and then had about 3 rehearsals beforehand,” says Elk
“In terms of shaking any mental cobwebs loose, playing in a band for over 30 years helps out a lot. We have a very deep and well-earned trust and chemistry between each other musically, which is something that’s vital and takes a long time to ferment.”
Mommheads live at Q Division on 4/3/2021…
Mommyheads remain dialed in and still reference the durable music of certain influences that include: Todd Rundgren, Devo, XTC, King Crimson, and Residents. However, the distinctively quirky and cool vocals of Elk, remain one of its vital ingredients.
“I’ve been both complimented and criticized for my style of singing, but I’ve never considered myself a singer in the classic sense. Of course, I’d love to sing like Roy Orbison, Jamie Lidell, or Jon Anderson but I’ve always felt like a songwriter who just needed or happened to sing. All singers try to emulate their heroes in the early stages and eventually find their own voice. One thing I’ve noticed is those singers who’ve emulated their heroes and did it too well, ended up playing in cover bands. Failing to meet your own expectations, could sometimes lead you down a path to originality and self-acceptance, Elk describes to Glide.
Elk recently found a copy of the band’s original second LP Coming into Beauty on Amazon for $903 and know that a remaster and reissue will be on its way in the future. As for more new music, the band is finishing a new LP titled Age of Isolation due out September 2021 along with being booked for a Scandinavia tour from August 24th – Sept 5th with a Swedish band called Eggstone.
Elk sums up Mommyheads’ continual creative goals as – “Our overall goal is to release a new LP every year and the Inspiration behind that decision has somehow helped us to sidestep the immense challenges ahead. I always hear about how society is advancing so fast and how the human connection we used to take for granted when we lived in smaller towns and villages is slowly slipping away. Well…We’ve been playing in this band for most of our lives and the music has not only enriched our friendships but our friendships and shared experiences have in return, enriched our music in some ways the music we make is our village.”
Mommyheads BONUS Round
Glide asked Elk to list each of Mommyheads’ albums and provide a one-word description- here are the results
AGE of ISOLATION – POTENT (Coming out Sept 2021)
NEW KINGS of POP – BRISK
FUTURE YOU – BOLD
VULNERABLE BOY – BITTERSWEET
BINGHAM’S HOLE – BOUNCY
ACORN – “NAIVE”
GEFFEN LP – BRASH
SOUNDTRACK TO THE WORLD’S END – DISILLUSIONED
COMING INTO BEAUTY – ILLUSIONED
FLYING SUIT – AIRBORNE
DELICATE FRICTION – PROGRESSING
SWISS ARMY KNIFE- – HAPPENSTANTIAL
YOU”RE NOT A DREAM– ROUNDTRIP