Release Date: Feb 26, 2016
Record label: Grand Jury
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Beginning as a solo project for printmaker and collagist Kristine Leschper, with videos appearing on the singer’s own Tumblr page – simple arrangements for guitar, mandolin and banjo scattered among her sketches, etchings and lithographs – Athens, Georgia’s Mothers became a four-piece in late 2014. With the majority of the material already written by Leschper, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired was assembled by the band shortly afterwards, the sessions overseen by Deerhunter collaborator Drew Vandenberg. Betraying their origins as solo material, the songs that make up their début album (with the exception of Copper Mines, the first song the band wrote together) start from almost nothing – a gently strummed electric guitar, a plucked mandolin perhaps – but quickly veer off in different directions.
“I’ve been finding new knives to kiss with,” sings Kristine Leschper on Blood-Letting, one of many startling moments on Mothers’ debut album. As you would hope from a band helmed by a visual artist from Athens, Georgia, When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired is full of ideas and refreshingly uninhibited by tradition. Leschper’s voice swoops in unexpected arcs on Lockjaw, the stop-starts of her band underlining the tension and surprise, while her phrasing on songs such as the woozily pretty Nesting Behaviour is worthy of Karen Dalton.
When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired is the mood-capturing title of the debut from Athens, Georgia indie quartet Mothers. The group was formed by then art-school student Kristine Leschper, who gained a reputation for her live solo performances around town before she expanded to a band and was invited to tour in support of fellow Athenians Of Montreal. Other established area musicians took notice as well, resulting in a first album with production by Drew Vandenberg (Widespread Panic, Futurebirds) and guest appearances by Josh McKay of Deerhunter and McKendrick Bearden of Grand Vapids.
Mothers’ debut begins, as its title suggests, in charmingly simple fashion. With the bare minimum of twinkling guitar accompanied by the occasional chugging line of strings, ‘Too Small For Eyes’ is a stripped-back showcase of the endearing vocals of Kristine Leschper that make Mothers so special. Written largely solitarily by Leschper before later expanding to the three-piece that makes up Mothers today, it’s only right that the album should begin in this fashion.
Music has clear therapeutic qualities. Any music junkie will be happy to tell you about the comforts their favorite album gives them, how it heals their wounds, how it articulates their emotions. It’s the only spoonful of medicine worth downing repeatedly. The debut full-length from Athens, GA’s Mothers fits in this category.
Vulnerability is the driving force behind indie-folk outfit Mothers’ debut record When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired. Born from the solo project of lead singer Kristine Leschper, Mothers found its niche in the arts-saturated community of Athens, GA. Their debut is composed of only eight songs, but it covers a surprising amount of emotional ground in that short time.
The intricacies of the heart have been endlessly pondered in pop music, but the joy of hearing a new articulation of love and its impact on the psyche is one that will never tire. The title of Mothers debut When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired may sound matter-of-fact but like its songs it’s in fact anything but prosaic. Over the course of eight songs Mothers explore the impact of emotional journeys and the physical and mental toil that they can wreak.
Kristine Leschper, the singer and songwriter from Athens, Ga., who leads Mothers, has a plaintive, slender voice that quavers and slides around her melodies. It’s a small, defenseless sound, but there’s not a hint of timidity in it — not when she’s singing lyrics like “I woke up feeling mutilated” or “I said that I could be just what you wanted/as if I could ever keep a promise,” or, most tellingly, “Make me an offer/I want to show you everything.” What she shows on Mothers’ debut album, “When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired,” is startling. Ms.