Based out of Boston, alternative indie musician and multi-instrumentlalist Doug Poppe, (who goes by the stage name An Triangles) released his second single titled, “Mother on You.”
Play the song and that’s what you’ll hear, literally.
“Mother on You” starts with the hushed sounds of kids playing on a school playground. There’s a single walking bass line that plays with them, creating the feeling of being in motion. Then strumming of the same chords meets with a light drum, and the sounds of kids playing fades. Soon, the first lyrics are sung, and you can hear Poppe’s slightly crackly voice, with a delivery that’s Conor-Oberst-like (but better, in my opinion).
And I know you got my bag
It’s got everything I have
Think about how brave you have to be to say to someone that they’ve got everything you have.
Listening to “Mother on You” is like going on a field trip to the past; we’re back on the school playground, it’s recess and another day at school. That one kid (read: bully who psychologically projects his insecurities onto me, though he doesn’t know it,) has my schoolbag. Here’s the thing – it’s the combination that does it for me, the quiet confidence in his voice with those raw and yet extraordinarily courageous words. Then, we get to the chorus, which is where he pulls the ultimate trump-card on said bully:
I’ll call my mother on you
I’ll call my mother on you
Everything about “Mother on You” feels deliberate and painstakingly constructed. It’s quiet courage, the chorus meeting with the sounds of shooting lasers. It’s like listening to a moment. We then fade to one quietly strummed chord, on one guitar, that calms us as we catch our breaths. What these next lyrics describe is a criminal offense (though perpetrated by a kid):
And I know you got my dog
And I’m telling you to stop
And it just goes on and on
Not quite the image of the happy school kids we heard in the background playing at the start of the song. Bullies sometimes know no bounds, and they try to take away any shred of happiness that belongs to their victim. The bridge of the song emulates the beat, in the sense that it reminds us of something different:
But your days are numbered
And your days are numbered
The song “Mother on You,” plays with time, motion, and space, and makes you feel as though you physically occupy the mind of and body of an eight-year-old kid. It’s a strange and delicate season of a person’s life (childhood, I mean.) It’s a time in our lives where we can hold tightly to the comfort that we can call mom, knowing that she’ll fix it.
As we grow up, most of us come to realize the naivety of that thought… but most of us hold a bittersweet nostalgia for that naivety, all the same.
“Mother on You” is more sweet than bitter. It’s a pleasure on the ears, and my only wish is that it were longer.