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Mummy’s a Tree
Samstag 15. Oktober 2022 @ 19:30 – 22:00
Mummy’s a Tree – New Song
definition of new song · 1 the new record by Mummy’s a Tree 2 a new episode in the history of the band Mummy’s a Tree 3 a new song, the outcome of hard labour and the result of a singular moment of inspiration, which is often induced, however, by the simplest of things: e.g. the purchase of a set of exotic horn guitar picks from Ali Express. During some ten hours of playing the picks break one by one (not very sustainable!), but the premature passing of a pick can be the simultaneous birth of a new song and the impetus of a new record.
Early 2020 singer/songwriter/guitarist Stefan van den Berg heads for Berlin accompanied by bassist Rick Weren and drummer Imre Elzer.
Best band from the Netherlands”Daniel Benyamin (Sea+Air) 2019
The goal is to create a ‘big sounding’ record. If it turned out that way? The band believes it did. June 2021 King Forward Records releases the album, entitled New Song. It’s the result of a quest that led Stefan to the realisation that of all things in life, music is the one that, at least for him, makes all narratives converge.
Back in time to November 1996 – Mummy’s a Tree’s debut record appears. But the seed was already planted earlier. The untimely self-elected death of Stefan’s mother becomes the breeding ground for sixteen fairytale-like songs.
Miraculously beautiful songs that would make Paul McCartney wish he had written them”VPRO3voor12 on ‘Dancing in The Light That My Baby Spreads’ (2007)
Ethereal but still gritty: Stefan records the album at home using one and the same microphone plugged into his trusty 4-track, overdubbing nearly every part himself. His guitar, so it goes in the announcement of his first gig, is made from the tree that grew on his mother’s grave.
A comforting Debut album ‘Mummy’s a Tree’ (1996) transformation. Fans of the band pronounce it a cult masterpiece. The record receives interest on a national level, too: Mummy’s a Tree ends up on the NPI’s Characters CD (with Racoon a.o.), reaches the finals of De Grote Prijs and plays support shows for dEUS, My Morning Jacket, Big Country, Bettie Serveert and The Long Winters.
Fast forward to March 2020, just before the lockdown – Mummy’s a Tree records its sixth album. Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign and a subsidy from the Sena Music Production Fund the band can afford a short stay at the legendary Berlin Hansa Studio ‘by the wall’. The spiritual presence of famous musicians that preceded them (David Bowie, U2) and a production team consisting of Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) and Daniel Benyamin (Sea + Air a.o.) gives the band the boost necessary for a new instalment: a New Song.
March – September 2020 – Back in Nijmegen the recordings are meticulously edited and mixed. The pandemic provokes reflection but it also sheds new light on recorded material. Apart from queries such as ‘when will we be able to play shows again?’ and ‘will the culture sector survive the crisis?’ the question arises: ‘Isn’t this a fitting moment to think thoroughly about the kind of world we wish to leave future generations?’.
Stefan is now the same age his mother was when she departed this life. It was her portrait on the cover the debut record, 25 years ago. Now his own portrait is the face of New Song. Unembellished: what you see is what you get. Stefan never wanted to become a pop idol. Focus on the music, if you please.
New Song is ‘a record of hope’. Thematically, it refers to desperately needed change, other worlds and sustainability, as evidenced by White Spot, Stop Breaking Down and the title track New Song. All of This tells of transformation and spirituality. The financial crisis is signalled in Face Wash. But romantic songs have their place, too: All My Thoughts, Lets Go on a Journey, Spring is Coming and Pipeline, a love song with a twist. Bye and Leader in Town tell of the fight against fear and the struggle for personal change.
October 2020 – Mummy’s a Tree meets Frank Bond, frontman of AlascA and head of his own label. King Forward Records will release New Song on 11 June 2021. A vinyl release on Daniel Benyamin’s new Berlin-based label, Ghost Palace, is scheduled for the end of the year.
The band has now been going for a quarter of a century, but – as opposed to the guitar pick that inspired the title track – the adventure goes on, and has only just begun. There’s no telling where this will end. And that’s what makes it so exciting.
Influences: The Beatles, Porno for Pyros, Jesus Christ Superstar, Nick Drake, Jeff & Tim Buckley, John Frusciante, Joni Mitchell
Press and VIP Quotes:
(…) excellent indie rock, laced with old school psychedelic pop, recommended for everybody who likes their music a tiny bit different”MERCHANTSOFAIR about Goodbye Stratosphere (2018)
A band that switches seamlessly between poppy ballads, Paisley Underground, folk, altcountry, psychedelica and even somewhat noiserock-like extravagance (…) at one moment desolate, at another raw rockVPRO3voor12 about Mummy’s aTree live (2018)
Riding on the back of Hank Williams, and sailing the seven seas, Stefan gives you the shivers, with flimmering chiqueness. Haunting us all into past times. Don Quixote fights future Jeff Buckley, T-rex and Mahatma Gandhi. There is no way to describe what it does to the heart, only that it’ll melt (…) His melodies are instant classics, and jealousy is what’s left for every newcomer singer songwriter struggling to tell something. Just throw away your guitar. Here at Olé we don’t like singer songwriters anyway.”Olé Records on Mummy’s a Tree’s debut album (1996)
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