LOS ANGELES, CA- Momma is an LA-based grunge-pop led by co-singers/guitarists/songwriters Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten. On June 5th, they dropped their new album Two of Me (Danger Collective Records) … and it’s a damn good album.

Friedman and Weingarten have said that they’ve been inspired by the music of Kim Deal, Liz Phair, and Elliot Smith and while you can hear hints of those legends in the sonics that they’ve laid down(I swear I was listening to The Breeders the opening track “Bug House” started playing), they’ve been able to cull their own unique attitude and style, making for a fantastic 30-minute jaunt through 10 songs.

The catchy, grunge sonics aside, Two of Me is an album that requires several listens to really digest. The band describes their album as a concept album “situated in an underground purgatory of their imagination called The Bug House”.  In their press release they state:

“We wanted this song to be the grand opus of the record – a culmination of the drama that happens throughout […] Inspired by ‘Eldorado’ by Electric Light Orchestra, ‘Habitat’ is written from the perspective of someone who comes to accept their place in The Bug House. The lyrics were inspired by the time we took shrooms together and decided that ‘being alone with each other is like being alone with ourselves.’ It is about being at peace with your environment, and finding calm in an altered state.”

So yeah… it may take a few listens to unpack their lyrics, but their laid back vocal delivery coupled with the soothingly grungy instrumental arrangements will make those listens quite enjoyable. And when a gem of a lyric happens to catch your ear, you’ll appreciate the mysteriously poetic mysticism in each word (“Casting shadows puts my figure in place/ the Sun is magnified to rot away/ Like an ant attacked by tiny kids/ Body radiates/ Meet me at the gates” -“Habitat”)

They explain the album’s concept further by emphasizing that each song highlights a different tragic hero dealing with issues ranging from morality, youth, and punishment in The Bug House:

“Two of Me’s songs are about coming to terms with the side of you within yourself that is maybe capable of darker things.”

Two of Me was recorded in Los Angeles with producer/engineer Aron Kobayashi Ritch, who bolstered Friedman and Weingarten’s desire to experiment with deeper and more distorted sounds, along with drummer Zach CapittiFenton and bass player Sebastian Jones, who made up the rhythm section for most of the album’s tracks.

Two of Me is really strong effort by these two young ladies. The sonic consistency over the course of the album affords the listener the opportunity to get lost in their wash of sound, so much so that even if you aren’t able to pick out all of the lyrics, you’ll still get enchanted by their dulcet vocals over distorted guitars. It’s a vibe, for sure.

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Momma. Photo by Rachel Filler. Courtesy of the artist. Used with permission.
Momma. Photo by Rachel Filler. Courtesy of the artist. Used with permission.