Special Explosion – The Art of Mothering Album Review
Special Explosion is everything you want in a band and their latest album, The Art of Mothering, is a testament to this.
The band sounds like the stepbrother of Death Cab for Cutie and the slightly more distant cousin to Go Radio. However, where bands like Go Radio and Death Cab can often times come across as a bit pretentious, Special Explosion comes across as just plain honest. The band’s latest album reminds me of Go Radio lyrically, and Death Cab vocally, but with a hint of Conor Oberst emotionally.
The band is comprised of Andy Costello (guitar/vocals), Lizzy Costello (bass/vocals), Sebastian Deramat (guitar), and Jacob Winihan (drums); all in their early twenties. I think the bands youth is where they draw their powerful lyrics from. They are all experiencing a lot of things for the first time and as you’ll hear in The Art of Mothering, things feel a lot more profound the first time around.
The lyrics throughout The Art of Mothering come across a lot like powerful poems. On no song on the album is this notion more true than it is for “Avery,” the first song on the album. Melodically the album is very mellow but with a bite. It’s versatile; it’s an album you can listen to while going to bed or going for a run. The use of the dissonance pedal is heavy in The Art of Mothering. Where a lot of bands would be afraid of over doing it, Special Explosion commits, and it pays off big time. I think it’s the use of dissonance in the album that creates the easy going mellow mood throughout. It gives the songs a raw carefree sound that says imperfection is perfect. On the other hand, it’s the heavy drums that come in at just the right times to remind the listener just how powerful these songs really are.
The duel vocals are really well done, as well. The Costello siblings clearly had some practice singing together growing up and it shows. There’s a kind of beautiful harmony amongst the dissonance, reminding the listener just how talented Special Explosion really is. The second song on the album, “Clotheslined,” showcases both the Costello’s vocals perfectly.
Everything about the new album is well done; and this includes the album art. In fact, the album art mirrors the albums sound flawlessly, it comes across as meticulous and perfect, yet somehow without trying too hard. Although, you’ll have to wait for the album release on February 25th to really see and hear what I mean, it’s definitely worth the wait.
No matter who you are, Special Explosion’s new album, The Art of Mothering, is worth a listen. It’s one of those albums that’s hard to dislike. While some may love it, others may like it, but I don’t see many people wishing they had never given it the time. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Special Explosion’s, The Art of Mothering when it comes out later this month.