The debut album When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired from Mothers is a drawn out affair that, at first listen, makes you think of Florence + The Machine. After listening to the entire album, you’ll be wanting to switch over to actual Florence + The Machine.
This album turned out to be somewhat of a chore to listen to. Some songs would start off with an interesting hook, like the twinkly intro of ‘It Hurts Until It Doesn’t’ or the catchy start to ‘Lockjaw’, but nothing seemed to stay the course throughout the remainder of the songs. Too many times in this album the vocals would sound like wailing, with the words being stretched out for what at times seems like forever. There is no doubt that singer Kristine Leschper ripped off the band-aid and revealed her wounds in her lyrics (“I don’t like myself when I’m awake”, she sings on ‘It Hurts Until It Doesn’t’), but there are times when it feels like she is channeling her pain through wailing through the lyrics.
This album, musically, has some good moments, like ‘Too Small For Eyes’ with a twangy mandolin sound that grabs attention right away. ‘Blood-letting’ has a Lykke Li feel to it, and ‘Copper Mines’ has some interesting, almost schizophrenic guitar work that seems to come and go when it feels like it during the song. ‘Hold Your Own Hand’ has a bit of an Explosions In the Sky vibe to it, but again, it ends up getting drowned out by the vocals, which is a shame. Quite a few of the songs drag on for too long, and eventually the music goes from catchy and hopeful to “alright, what else?”.
Overall, this album has moments of intricate guitar work and solid drums, but these moments are overshadowed by the wailing vocals. Although the lyrics appear to be deep, the drawn out words and breakdowns make the album a bit exhausting to listen to in full. A lot of the songs sound the same, and there isn’t enough change of pace to make one song stick out from the rest. File this one under ‘Music I’d Like to Forget’.