After going full concept album in the summer of 2021 with the pandemic-inspired Inside, Ryan Guldemond of Vancouver indie-rock band Mother Mother’s first solo release as GLDMTH feels a lot like a self-contained play – it’s certainly a dramatic, theatrical experience that you won’t soon forget. Across 11 self-produced tracks, Guldemond juxtaposes the extremely minimal, backed up by sparse acoustics and piano, and experimental sound collages full of harrowing sounds, perfect for your indie Halloween playlist.
Lyrically, the project seems to tackle the aftermath of a heartbreak, from the initial shock to the period of denial and the journey of soul searching and building oneself back up that follows. The real attention-grabbing centrepiece of the project is Guldemond’s vocal delivery, selling the emotions with the absolutely broken-sounding airy tenor of a seasoned storyteller. He drops his voice down to a wounded whisper, and at certain points you can hear his staggered breathing before he delivers the next phrase, as if the words are too physically painful to force out. Another track, “Feelings,” finds Guldemond singing in a frenzied scream, but it’s muted behind his regular voice to mirror the torrent of emotions underneath.
GLDMTH comes accompanied by an email newsletter full of multimedia tie-ins, including exclusive photography and videography around Vancouver that mirrors the album’s themes, and some written work as well. It should be a big help to fans looking to decipher the grand, poetic statements on display throughout the album.