Mormor. Who? A Toronto-based artist, singer-producer and multi-instrumentalist who has recently released an EP titled Live For Nothing. Though details are scarce at this point concerning band members and the production crew, Live For Nothing mixes features of indie rock and dream pop that many will recognize.
Bands generally open their EPs and albums with an energetic tune that grabs people’s attention and gets you moving. After listening to Live For Nothing, I was surprised to hear that Mormor began this first effort with their dreamiest, most downtempo track. The namesake of this EP begins with cleanly delayed guitars played alongside a lavish synth/organ that is joined by a breathy voice that lures you in. It’s followed by a drum beat that features a snare that sounds like it just got pulled out of a custom DeLorean. Delicate harmonies swirl around the melody that delivers a message of hope and nostalgia. Basically, this ballad sounds like Michael Jackson watching a sunset. “Hour Glass” follows, and starts with a hi-hat and tambourine shaking along to some mildly-overdriven, choppy guitar funkiness. Alright! It reminds me of a mix between Sloan and Franz Ferdinand. Subtle synths gain force in the chorus, and subside for the verses – a nice touch. Speaking of, this chorus is like Yogi Berra – it will catch you. Guitar players sometimes use weird terms to define the sound and/or playing of a guitar. In the case of the guitar solo on this song, let me indulge you with this description: tasty, glassy, throaty & fuzzy – ‘nuff said.
Next is “Some Kind of Luck,” a track that’s introduced by a sound similar to what a down-tuned harpsichord would sound like. Overall, this one made me think of Tycho’s drummer jamming with John Mayer’s female equivalent. It’s that blues/rock/pop that fuses awesome hooks with organic instruments. Here too, a synth takes over for a brief moment, acting as a sort of psychedelic bridge linking the first and last half of the song. “Wild Child” is in 3/4 timing, so I got my sway on as they played this groovy swamp-pop jam that benefitted incredibly from the singer’s smooth vocal delivery. As soon as the bass came through the speakers, all I could picture was driving through rolling hills in a ‘50s convertible with friends on a hot July day. The song breaks before the choruses, as reverb and delay wrap around the vocals, creating that dreamy ambiance which is broken by the drums slamming the song back into action. Oh yeah, and if you like Hammond B4 organs, check this one out. It’s followed by “Revolution,” a track that starts with an acoustic guitar and a snare drum going through a cadence, giving the intro a combatant feeling. This was cemented by the arrival of trumpets halfway through the song. Live For Nothing terminates with “Us.” A robotic-sounding synth and drum riff begin the song and carry it until the near-end of the track, when the beat is kicked up a gear, accented by wide-sounding pianos punctuating the rhythm. Sadly, drum machines don’t do it for me, but the lavish production was enough to keep my attention throughout. All in all, a great first EP from an interesting band that I wish I could know more of.
Written by Dave Tone
*edited by Kate Erickson