Opinion Review

The Motherland: By The Water

The fast-paced, driving bass accompanied by somewhat dissonant, ambient and enthralling guitar lines and methodically-orchestrated drum patterns encompass Joburg-based alternative pop rock band The Motherland. Contrasting to their prior more familiar and good-natured work, the band’s new single ‘By The Water’ showcases an ethereal, progressive and edgy sound similar to Foals curca 2010.

Sean Hayz’s (vocals, guitar) lyrical content effectively portrays the technique of word-painting, clearly evident in his mellow and solemn vocal tone. Focusing on the unfortunately dissonant and troublesome aspects of some relationships, Hayz’s repetitive and compelling line “The darkest of times, they took you down, I think they stole my heart, oh how fickle you are” convincingly portrays the harsh realities of subtle anguish.

Recorded at Johannesburg’s High Seas Studios (Desmond & The Tutu’s, Shortstraw), The Motherland describes ‘By The Water’ as a new-found conduct to songwriting. “Our moods were obviously a little more aggressive when we wrote this track, it’s a lot more tense than what we normally do but we’re really excited about this new direction,” says Amber Valentine (guitar). Apart from the appealing and refreshing aesthetic, the band also took to writing the song from scratch in studio, as opposed to their usual methodology of writing during soundchecks.

Lucid, serene, ominous and edgy, ‘By The Water’ sure does exhibit a rousing and intrepid venture. Though off-centre to the well-known, the work is sure to gather a copious amount of new-found fans and hopefully, expose those familiar to the dissimilar.

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Listen to ‘By The Water’ below on Deezer.