(CBS) Mother Mother put out one of the best music releases so far in 2011. The band's third album, "Eureka," is a tightly constructed and smartly produced collection of pop tunes that rock pretty hard for pop tunes. The songs also groove and bounce and have some of the most delightful harmonies (melodies and countermelodies) you'll hear on a record this year.
The Canadian quintet is currently zipping up and down the east coast of the United States on tour, putting on a ripping live show with plenty of energy and intricate guitar work.
(Listen to Mother Mother's "Simply Simple" below.)
At the center of the group and its intricate vocals is lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Ryan Guldemond. Joining him are keyboardist and singer Molly Guldemond (Ryan's sister), singer and keyboardist Jasmin Parkin, bassist and horn player Jeremy Page and drummer Ali Siadat.
Ryan Guldemond broke down each band member's strengths in a recent phone interview. "Molly is special because of her voice," says Ryan. "She has a unique voice and it's a sound that is very definitive of the band. If she ever goes away it stops becoming the band." Listeners can hear Molly's vocals at the top end of most of Mother Mother's harmonies.
Parkin, says Ryan, "adds a lot as a third harmony and really creates an adhesive to the vocal chemistry of the band." She also plays piano. "That was a dimension that was missing before she joined," says Ryan. "She wears a lot of hats and does it in an infiltrated way."
Jeremy Page, who co-wrote "Simply Simple" with Ryan, is a multi-instrumentalist who mostly sticks to bass on stage, but his switch to saxophone is a highlight of the band's live show. "I think that's a real treat for the audience and it provides a multi-dimensional experience," says Ryan.
And the perfect beats provided by drummer Ali Siadat may be the result of his background as a scientist. "You can always count on those beats being well thought out and conducive to the song the band is playing," says Ryan.
Mother Mother tours the U.S. through early August and returns to Canada for two shows in September. After a short tour of Europe in October, Ryan says the band is going to be "somewhat hasty" about putting together its next album, referencing the two-and-a-half years between "Eureka" and its predecessor, "O My Heart."
See Mother Mother live on the following dates:
July 21 - Great Scott, Boston, Mass., 9:00 p.m.
July 23 - Hillside Festival 2011 at Guelph Lake Island, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 8:00pm
July 25 - Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, N.Y., 8:00 p.m.
July 26 - The Mohawk Place, Buffalo, N.Y., 8:00 p.m.
July 27 - Wilbert's, Cleveland, Ohio, 8:00 p.m.
July 30 - OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 3:10 p.m.
Aug. 1 - Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, N.Y., 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 3 - Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, Minn., 7:00 p.m.