by Craig Howieson
Shepherd, the latest single from the New Brunswick-based trio, Motherhood, sounds like Brian Wilson sipping cocktails with Ty Segall, as Chance The Rapper spits rhymes and holds court. It is somewhat of a wild ride, and representative of the band’s restless and relentless experimentation. A jittering unease felt in the breath robbing melody line is aided and abetted by the swooning harmonies, as the band lurch into a funk laden crunch that is as much a stoner rock jam, as it is a bubblegum pop gem.
Perhaps as a result of the grandeur of the group’s surroundings in rural Canada, or by the sheer amount of time they have been together, the track sounds battered by years of ill treatment – but there is a futuristic twinkle that saves it from being dated. And despite sparring with morality, despair and a healthy dose of existentialism, in just under three minutes, the track does not get trapped under the weight of its own subject matter. In fact, the group sounds buoyant, as if determined to relieve the heaviness of modern day living – even if they have to do the lion’s share of the lifting.
Shepherd is a song for the lost. Showing there is no right direction, we just keep moving forward.
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