Being is the debut album by Montreal artist Caila Thompson- Hannant aka Mozart’s sister. Mozart’s Sister is the synth pop solo project by Caira who is also a member of the Montreal bands Miracle Fortress and Think About Life. She also played synths and guitar for the band Shapes & Sizes off the Asthmatic Kitty label. The album Being was recorded and produced by the artist herself using Ableton software which gives it a DIY punk rock edge against pop giants who adopt this edgy sound.
Mozart’s Sister has garnered quite a following through her live shows and anticipation has been building for her LP Being.
A lot of artists who have formally been with bands find a particular feeling of liberation and artistic freedom going solo. In the Montreal Gazette, Thompson-Hannant explains in departing from a band setting, a certain amount of confidence in your own art is needed to see it through. She explains, “There’s a lot at stake – I can’t up and leave myself”. Being is a very eclectic album. The artist has experimented with an array of sounds and production throughout the album. The album is intentionally disconnected and varied.
The album opens with Good Thing Bad Thing, a track which opens with a metronome beat followed by droning beats and echoing vocals. The tracks is hark back to a Renaissance house music compilation album with a dash of Robyn. The track is layered with yearning diva-esque vocals and empowering lyrics “you can’t get a good thing without a bad thing”. The album opens strong.
In Enjoy, Thompson-Hannant sings “1 2 3 don’t fuck with me”. Although Being, at first glance is a very danceable and melodic album, the lyrical content is laden with fighting words. The album’s lyrics declares it’s independent and strength and the vocals are very strong.
Being was allegedly influenced by Discovery era Daft Punk, Bjork and Betty Davis. My House Is Wild is eccentric and very Bjork-esque. The vocal melodies and minimal beats make the track a treat. In listening to Being, I’ve been hearing a lot of influences coming through from 80’s synth music to 90’s house music and in fact in listening to the track A Move; the vocal delivery sounds as if somehow Patti Smith collaborated with Bjork’s producer on the down low. From a personal perspective, the odd and dark tones of A Move stood out for me as a track on the album. The chanting of “death, love, life..” invoke images of an underground club in the 80s. It’s a unique and interesting track. Bow a Kiss is a sassy track laden with more chanting vocals, clacking beats and an entrancing guitar riff in the chorus which is another standout for me.
Mozart’s Sister’s Being can be summed up as a an accomplished synth pop album with lyrical substance. The album is melodic and euphoric sounding enough in it’s production to be danced to but also to get work done too. I would recommend this album to fans of Grimes and to a certain extent Robyn, for it’s melodies, experimental sound and empowering vocals.
Being by Mozart’s Sister will be released on August 5th 2014 on Asthmatic Kitty (US) and Paper Bag Records (Canada).