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The new album Mütter out May 18th, 2007
Mütter (German for 'mother') is the third album from Maria Doyle Kennedy, a marked departure from her 2001 debut Charm and the limited edition Skullcover set from 2004.
Four years in the making, recorded at many locations including Cork, Wicklow, Dublin and Monaghan, Mütter is a gloriously unsettling collection of classic pop melodies. Cuts such as Opera, Skin and Here You Come, are intensified by Kieran Kennedy's masterfully treated guitars and inventive keyboard backdrops. The timbre of the record evokes a folk-ambient hybrid, warm airs and carefully crafted words offset by wintry tinges of the Cocteau Twins and The Cure. The bristling F***ability is the exception: swampy flowing rhythms spiked with Stereolab synth hooks, growling bass, and an unashamedly carnal vocal.
The album was, Maria admits, conceived under the influence of Chuck Palahniuk's 2003 coma fable Diary, the testimony of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and a valentine to the occult power of art. "I was chasing this record down when a friend handed me the book and said, 'I've read your album'," Maria says. "It became the key that unlocked the mystery for me. Faced with decisions to make about a song, I asked myself, 'What would be true to Misty's journey?' It was easy after that…"
Consequently, Mütter sounds twinned with eerie 70s cinema classics like Don't Look Now and Picnic At Hanging Rock. Mother could be a calm riposte to Lennon's primal scream; 40 Days is a minor key panic attack, the scratchings of a soul trapped under cryogenic ice; and the gorgeous Swoon is the point where Sandy Denny meets Sigur Ros. Elsewhere, the near baroque Call Me, co-written with Fergus O' Farrell, evokes the sound of Billie Holiday fronting a Michael Nyman score. Above all, this music is haunted and haunting, an album of shadows and unreal light whose after-effects linger long in the mind. Mütter is a body of interwoven songs as complex and fragile as a spider's web. Buy Mütter at