If you live for dream pop music, then check out Toronto band Mother Tongues’ newest album Love in a Vicious Way. The group released their soundtrack on July 21, headed by guitarist Lukas Cheung and bassist Charise Aragoza, both of whom also supply lead vocals. Consisting of 10 songs fusing multiple genres from interstellar psychedelia to cyberpunk, Love in a Vicious Way is an enjoyable odyssey for the mind.
The first half of the album starts with a heavy dreariness from gothic rock sprinkled with the melancholy of dream pop. As the tracklist reaches its second half, however, the songs become incredibly soothing as they focus more on ethereal synth pop.
The songs are psychedelic mysteries, fairy tales, and fables, unravelling through solemn dreamy pop vocals and synth beats. Beautiful synergies of winding guitar chords and light, dribbly drums will return you to the peaceful sanctuary of your emotional well-being.
Cheung and Aragoza’s artistry come alive the most in their ability to brilliantly evoke a sense of solace to ease your worries. The song “Drip Drip” is the gentlest piece in the album through calming harmonies and reassuring lyrics. The echoing synth tones, easygoing guitar strums, and breezy drums make you feel like you’re relaxing at a café along the coast.
The band further allows their creativity to shine when it comes to their experimental arrangements and style choices. The song “Love in a Vicious Way” features an upbeat segment of flute-like whistling, despite being laden with heavy pop guitar chords. The band keeps new listeners on their toes and curious enough to look forward to the next track.
“Ode to Jay” is a synth progression, sounding like a cellphone’s ringtone to signal the album is soon coming to an end. It tonally emotes like a dreamy eulogy for the odyssey that will reach full circle. The song is wordless because no words can express the experience you just had being whisked away by Mother Tongues.
There is also something strangely cosmic about the album, even though love is evidently the band’s main subject. The final track “Lonely Ones” has a combo of hushed psychedelic pop vocals, light guitar riffs, and steady drums to provoke the feeling of peacefully drifting through space. Even electronic tones in the song’s background like shimmering rings, rhythmic beeps, and trickling synth notes resemble the sounds from a spaceship’s control panel.
Those who aren’t overly into dream pop or any genre in Mother Tongues’ arsenal may not be as swayed by their latest album as it always comes down to musical tastes and what you expect out of a band, both thematically and tonally.
If genre fusion music is what you’re looking for, Love in a Vicious Way is a musical journey you should undertake. As vulnerable as it is fantastical, the Toronto group’s music is the answer to your stress, as well as a worthwhile summer listen.
Final Score: 10/10
Favourite Tracks: “Dance in the Dark,” “Drip Drip,” “2 Luv 2 Liv,” “Lonely Ones.”