SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/myluvnotes/mama

With a gentle picking, an acoustic guitar finds a kindred spirit in a violin and paints us a melodic picture in the first few bars that adorn the intro to “Mama,” the new single from Stephanie Hochman (who is more commonly known by her stage name My Luv Notes). They dance like flickering campfire flames, crackling and giving off a few colorful sparks before a velvety vocal track inserts itself between the two of them. My Luv Notes sings with all of her soul on her sleeve, her heart in our hands, and her emotions firmly planted at the forefront of her songcraft in this ballad. She’s not holding anything back from us lyrically, but there’s just as much to be said about the intrepid instrumentation that frames her every emission. “Mama” is an intimately personal single from My Luv Notes, but despite its individuality on both stylistic and compositional levels, I wouldn’t say that it’s anything other than a wholeheartedly relatable, buoyant spring sonnet that suits the current pop environment perfectly this April.

The biggest problem that I’ve got with contemporary singer/songwriters has very little to do with experimentation and almost everything to do with effort. Postmodernity, specifically surrealism, has been exerting a prominent influence over pop music in the last few years, and it’s led to some really intriguing creations from a bevy of artists across the sonic spectrum, but it’s also given performers with a lot less talent than My Luv Notes an opportunity to mask their inarticulate prose with indulgent instrumental breakdowns; but to my delight, none of this needless excess plays a part in the construction of “Mama.” The only truly surreal component to this track is the execution of the vocal, which has an effervescent glow created by its well-defined equalization in the master mix. It’s more than obvious to me that a lot of time and attention went into hammering out every explicit detail in this song before My Luv Notes ever cleared it for release, and her hard work doesn’t go unrewarded in the end result that we hear in the finished “Mama.” The concept used to structure the verses is efficient, the harmonies dripping with a heavenly vibrato, and the lyrics lovingly accessible to anyone with a connection to the endearing nature of motherhood.

You’re not likely to find as inspired an easy listening song this spring as you will in this mild, melody-driven ballad, and for my money, there aren’t a heck of a lot of artists in or out of My Luv Notes’ scene that operate with the same profound depth of emotion as she does here. Fans of folk, soft rock, adult contemporary and modern acoustic music would be wise to give this single a spin for themselves, if for no other reason than to see why so many of us have been discussing its release. I myself wasn’t completely sold on this artist prior to exploring her discography a little more than I previously had, and I think that “Mama” is definitely a step in the right direction for her potential-laden sound. With a little more polish on this pop template, I have a feeling My Luv Notes will be ready to take on anything that the world throws her way.

DEEZER: https://www.deezer.com/en/track/359292131?autoplay=true

Michael Rand

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