Premiere: The Unique Ease of Mamalarky’s Lovelorn “Mama’s Bear”

Mamalarky © Gabriel Ovalle
Mamalarky channel the natural talents of a veteran band in their intimately lovelorn and desire-fueled single “Mama’s Bear.”

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Although this is only Mamalarky’s third official release, the band’s members — Livvy Bennett, Dylan Hill, and Michael Hunter—have been playing together since their middle school days filled with adolescent jam sessions. And you can tell. Songwriter Livvy Bennett, who also provides vocals and guitar, reinforces this feeling of ease when talking about the songwriting process that led to new single “Mama’s Bear,” which Atwood Magazine is thrilled to premiere today: “I wrote it really quickly without too much labor around the structure or lyrics, it was definitely one of those times where you sit down and just drain your brain.” For a well-written, well-produced song like this to be written without too much effort speaks to the natural talent of this up-and-coming act. Bands don’t normally have natural cohesion this early on, but with Mamalarky, it is smooth from the start.

My old buddy’s coming down today
We read the book but don’t have words to say
We’re afraid because we’re all alone
Two kindered spirits in an empty room
Listen: “Mama’s Bear” – Mamalarky

Self-proclaimed “genre-fluid rainbow rock artists,” Austin-born, LA-based Mamalarky combines the wide interests of each band member, ranging from psych pop to heavy blues, to create a unique sound that is both familiar and new at the same time. And it is out of this state of in-between that “Mama’s Bear” was born.

Mama's Bear - Mamalarky

Mama’s Bear – Mamalarky

Oh, Mama. Forgive me.
I have sinned for the last time I swear.
Oh, Mama. Forgive me.
I have sinned for the last time I swear
on the gold in your hair.

Livvy Bennett tells Atwood Magazine that the song was written about “a chilly semester spent away from your lover.” You can practically feel the chill in Bennett’s subdued vocals and the slow cadence of the song. She continues, “I wanted to ruminate on how odd it can feel when you finally reunite with the person you’ve been thinking about and talking to constantly, maybe even reading the same books to feel closer together. It feels so warm and uniting to return to their company, but also kind of unfamiliar in some weird, exciting way.” This fluctuation of feelings is felt not only in the swing of Bennett’s voice as she carries us through the sonic landscape of this song, but also in the lyrics:

He grabs my hand so we can go inside
He likes the warmth that my walls provide
It’s so familiar is this a dream
Mamalarky © Julia Arden Dixon

Mamalarky © Julia Arden Dixon

Two lovers are finally together, the culmination of their anticipating and longing, and it feels so mysteriously real, it must be a dream. Bennett brilliantly captures these fleeting feelings—in her own words: “that nervous intimate energy”—that are soon to be erased from memory as the lovers fall back into the comfort and routine of each other’s company.

He grabs my hand so we an go inside
He likes the warmth that my walls provide
It’s so familiar is this a dream
Billy Pilgrim fell asleep on me

The song ends with Bennett singing, “Oh, Mama. Forgive me. I have sinned for the last time I swear as I hit this snare.” A short pause later, drummer Dylan Hill hits the snare and the song fades out, signaling a finality for the song and to the emotions it encompasses.

Mamalarky © Gabriel Ovalle

Mamalarky © Gabriel Ovalle

The artwork for this single is simple, colorful, and intriguing, falling in line with the artwork for their previous singles. It’s always exciting to see a band so new begin to build their brand and, even with just a quick glance at their artwork and their Instagram feed, it’s clear Mamalarky knows their look and their feel. This sense of direction, coupled with their musical ability, will help them move forward in their trajectory as a band.

A huge step for them will be playing at this year’s SXSW festival, starting at the end of this week, where they can build their already growing fanbase and show off their budding talent. We are excited to see where this amazing opportunity takes them and look forward to hearing their debut EP, titled Fundamental Thrive Hive, that they recorded at Daniel McNeill’s studio!

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Mama's Bear - Mamalarky

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📸 © Gabriel Ovalle

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Mamalarky © Gabriel Ovalle

Mamalarky © Gabriel Ovalle

Kaitlyn is a California girl through and through; she grew up in San Diego and now attends UCLA. When she is not at the beach, she spends most of her time and money going to concerts and reveling in the historic Los Angeles music scene.