The six song collection, “Mother”, is the musical extravagance of Hollands’ guitarist/bassist John-Paul Norpoth, whose credits include include Butane Variations, In Cadeo, Akron/Familyâ€™s self-titled Young God Records debut and Your 33 Black Angels self-titled debut, and violinist Jannina Barefield, who has appeared this year on Akron/Family’s “Set Em Wild, Set Em Free” and Osso (Sufjan Steven’s String Quartet Renditions of “Enjoy Your Rabbitâ€), performed with countless acts such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Foxy Brown, and Amy Grant, and was a featured artist on VH-1’s â€œSave the Music.â€ Norpoth and Barefield are joined on â€œMotherâ€ by drummer Kenny Grohowski, (Daniel Bernard Roumain, Dapp Theory, Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones), upright/electric bassist Jim Robertson. (Daniel Bernard Roumain, Philip Glass) and violinist Earl Mannein, (Broadway’s “Burn the Floor, “Alicia Keys, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sean Lennon).
â€œMotherâ€ was recorded, produced, and engineered by Colby Devereux and Hollands over a ten month period in various locations including NYCâ€™s Blue Ribbon Studios, Crummy Love Palace in Washington Heights, violinistâ€™s Maneein’s home studio in Queens, and the Norpoth Family Home in Stony Brook, NY. The EP was mixed by Bryce Goggin at Trout Recording Studios, Brooklyn and mastered by Will Quinnell at Sterling Sound NYC.
John-Paul Norpoth, the son of a classical flautist, and Jannina Barefield, the daughter of Detroit based avant-garde jazz guitarist Spencer Barefield, combine fuzzy guitars with orchestral arrangements and traditional folk nods. Norpoth recorded the music for “Mother” in a period of personal turmoil, as the break-up of his band Butane Variations left a personal and professional void. He was also fired from his profession, a home teaching service in the affluent, suburban town of Scarsdale, NY, for touring, no less. Norpoth says, “I was bitter, …I think this recording sounds a bit desperate and frustrated, while the jokes therein shouldn’t be taken at face value, there’s a bunch of other underlying meaning and blunt force to the lyrics.” According to Norpoth, the musicians invited here add grit and beauty, from the salty, fuzzy, electric violins of Mannein to the sweet, sanguine, string arrangements of Barefield, Hollands has achieved a layer of
complementary sound and musical maturity. NYC-based jazz/thrash-metal/progressive drummer Kenny Grohowski provides the classic rock tendencies, but a bit more dance and conflict in the uproar of the track “Just Like Them”, a portrait of a family on the brink, no-holds-barred thrashing buoyed by a dance beat, linked by Norpoth’s unsteady warble about faded promise.
Hollands are known for exploring any means necessary to realize the most honest atmosphere and capture the diversity of each song and â€œMotherâ€ is sure to show a new depth to their music and serves as a great example of the groupâ€™s versatility.
Video live @ Mercury Lounge “Jackie” from Mother EP