Now that I’ve become acquainted with Mozart’s Sister, I don’t think I’ll be saying goodbye anytime soon.
Merok Records, 2013
8.0 / 10
Self-describing her music as “bedroom paranoia”, Caila Thompson-Hannant, aka Mozart’s Sister, has nailed a fairly accurate synopsis of just what can be heard on her second EP, Hello. For me, Hello is an introduction to the singer, having missed her previous release Dear Fear. Being a music listener almost de-synthesitized to synth-pop at this point, I wasn’t expecting more than another bubbly pop album that I would have the unfortunate task of popping its bubble. But shock! Hello had me at ‘hello’ or at least its opening song and left me as a Mozart’s Sister fanboy.
Easily comparable to Grimes, Thompson-Hannant actually possesses more vocal range from vibrant bursts to shrilly whispering. If there’s any knock against Mozart’s Sister’s arrangements as being been-there-done-that, she makes up for it in her charismatic performance that is consistently strong over the EP’s four songs. While Lana Del Rey was possibly unfairly criticized for doing the same thing with her own vocals, there’s more context behind Thompson-Hannant’s switch to a childlike (or baby-voiced) delivery when she’s referring to herself as a baby on the self-titled “Mozart’s Sister”. “You want me to crawl on my hands and knees / Like a baby / Going ‘goo goo gah goo’”.
She explores the darker aspects of relationships in her songs — from demeaning servitude (“Mozart’s Sister”) to abandonment (“Don’t Leave It to Me”) to her own destructive spontaneity (“Contentedness”). “Contentedness”, my pick for Hello’s best song, hints right away that it’s something special with a brooding drone in the song’s intro. When the track finally does give into its pop urgings, Thompson-Hannant hits listeners with a chorus likely to burrow into their brains – “Contentedness, you can come on in / But I wouldn’t take your shoes off.” Closing song, “Single Status” is equally as catchy, serving as a breakup song for the social media generation. Just try to ignore it; it’s unstoppable. Now that I’ve become acquainted with Mozart’s Sister, I don’t think I’ll be saying goodbye anytime soon.
Purchase: Mozart’s Sister – Hello E.P