I have spent most of my life as a hardliner Beatles fanatic, but Your Mother Was A Peacock really makes me understand the true emotions in a magical mystery ride, thanks to OXLIP.
Vancouver-based singer-songwriter OXLIP returns from her three-year hiatus following the release of her debut album — Wolves! Cried the Maid with the latest addition to her discography — a full-length album named Your Mother Was A Peacock. Consisting of ten neatly lined and well-defined tracks in their own right, the album is the closest we can get to an experience with traditional medieval folk tales. It would not be hearsay to call the album one made towards a particular thematic inclination or concept; the melodies and balladic lyricism resemble best the mysterious and exotic regality of ancient kingdoms and their tales of forests, extraordinary creatures and folk stories.
The album opens up with Nøkken — a track that is so characteristically folksy, that it must make all listeners feel dropped into a direct folksian adventure. The balladic lyricism of the track presents a storyline, collaborative of an incredibly immersive electric guitar tone. The violin plays perhaps the biggest role in this track, if not the entire album. White Dove is a more sultry track with seductive vocalism. It presents bluesy riffs scattered across the track with inputs again from the violinist, who understands their assignment extremely well. The title track of the album sounds like a number out of a Game of Thrones ensemble; with its piercing vocals, it makes for an ambient adventure. When one closes their eyes to their track, they should find themselves transported into the cascaded soundscape of nature, as OXLIP narrates her Oracle-like story.
Daddysaurus presents the singer-songwriter’s sweltering voice again, carried throughout with simple drum loops, violins and cellos. The song draws to a close with an operatic outro ensemble of all the instruments in ambient participation and eventually divulges into static. Ulster Girl can be presented as the lead-off into the second half of the album. It is the most quintessential indie folk track, remembered with the dichotomous passions of the singer and the violinist spiralling into unrestricted melodica. Barley Sugar is the album’s romantic track — the story of an incomplete romance sung in retrospect. The track represents the narrator’s stream of consciousness about her erstwhile lover, who seems to not be around anymore.
Wild Woodbine — easily my favourite track off the album is woven in a brilliantly cohesive composition. The track posits the sound of indie lore in its verses, with the choruses ascending into the rudimentary and dirty, yet so irresistibly attractive sound of the fusion of alternative rock and garage rock. Apples and Samois-sur-Seine bring back the lore elements from the earlier cottage-core aesthetic of the album. Midnight Hags is the album’s curtain track — a relatively more ominous track, with its isolated vocals and suspended piano. The track’s balladic sound is representative of a collective folktale, where the stories of such creatures are narrated, enjoyed and passed down generations in musical cohesion.
OXLIP’s Your Mother Was A Peacock is a cottage-core adventure, replete with tales of romance, odd creatures and landscapes. It represents the eeriness and excitement of undiscovered mythical territories represented in folk stories, in incredibly thematic melody and instrumentation. Check out the album here: