Premiere: Mother Pearl’s Epic, Vulnerable, and Therapeutic Debut “Father Figures”

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait
A powerfully emotional confessional, Mother Pearl’s debut “Father Figures” confronts inner struggle head-on through an epic, yet intimate pop ballad.
Stream: “Father Figures” – Mother Pearl


The need I have for love is just one of the many triggers; I take these stupid boys and I make them father figures…

Some songs tell new stories created from the blue, some songs come from stories heard from a distance, and other songs come straight from the heart. Mother Pearl’s harrowing debut single “Father Figures” fits into that third camp: A powerfully emotional confessional from a pained and broken heart, “Father Figures” confronts inner struggle head-on through an epic, yet intimate pop ballad.

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

It’s an emotional addiction
It’s a hereditary condition
Must be something that I’ve been missin
I take it out on the lips that I’m kissin
Just tell me you’re proud
And say it loud

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Mother Pearl’s debut single “Father Figures,” independently out now. The moniker for singer/songwriter Katie Pearlman (who has previously written for artists as far-reaching as Lukas Graham and Kelly Clarkson), Mother Pearl’s music is honest and raw — itself the result of a “week long silent therapy treatment” to aid severe anxiety. Music is therapy for so many, and Pearlman/Mother Pearl wears this truth like a badge of honor: “Father Figures” is the painfully cathartic acknowledgement of deep-rooted trials with intimacy, exploring her romantic relationships in conjunction with an intrinsic need to have a “father figure” in her life:

Cuz the need I have for love
is just one of the many triggers
I take these stupid boys
and I make them father figures
So show me all the love I never knew
I know you’re just one man
but could you be two?

“I had been thinking about this concept for a long time – the concept of dating dudes who were much older than I was, and simultaneously fixating on these older male figures in my life by making them into something they were not,” Mother Pearl tells Atwood Magazine. “I never thought I would be one of those girls with daddy issues, but I kept finding myself in scenarios where I was the broken-hearted, naive, younger woman in the picture.”

She continues, “All of these thoughts were percolating through my mind when I arrived in Nashville right around Father’s Day in June of 2017. I was staying with my friend Maggie Chapman (who is also a songwriter), explaining to her my current dilemma with some guy or another. “I make every guy my father figure,” I remember saying to her, and she caught the words right out of my mouth. “We need to write that song,” she said. The next day it was done in a total of 30 minutes. Ironically on Father’s Day exactly.”

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

Bad decisions I’ve been making
From attention I’ve been craving
It’s hard to meet my expectations
With a heart that only knows breaking
Just tell me you’re proud
And don’t let me down
Cuz the need I have for love is just one of many triggers
I take these stupid boys and I make them father figures
So show me all the love I never knew
I know you’re just one man but could you be two?
I know that that’s a lot to ask of you
I know you’re just one man could you be two?

Mother Pearl owns her actions, needs, desires, and misgivings with charisma and zeal. Singing with the bombastic intensity of Adele, she roars in dynamic passion a chorus that could easily have been whispered softly – as a spill, rather than a true outpouring. Supported by an increasingly vivid backdrop of violins, bass, percussion, and keys, the artist unveils a simple, yet profound desire to feel comfortable – at her own speed, and in her own skin:

I just wanna feel at home
I just wanna feel made whole
I just wanna feel at all
Anything at all, anything at all
I just wanna feel at home
I just wanna feel made whole
I just wanna feel at all
Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

Mother Pearl © Zoe Chait

This depth may not be palpable to all upon first listen, but as we dive deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, we feel the dark ache surrounding the artist and her struggle. This song is her therapy: Mother Pearl’s highly personal lyrics and her intense, perfectly paired soundtracking bring the listener into a room for two, as we find ourselves experiencing secondhand the fragility of a shattered heart and the rupture of a healing soul.

“Writing that song was such a cathartic experience for me,” says Mother Pearl. “It was an emotion I had been trying to capture for years. It highlights the pain I was working through then and am still working through now. I think the point is that these things don’t go away! We can learn about ourselves and our habits and catch ourselves when we find ourselves falling into unhealthy patterns, but the father/daughter relationship never ends. That shit sticks with you for life and we all have to find our own form of reconciliation to get us through. Mine just happens to be through song.”

Stream Mother Pearl’s debut single “Father Figures” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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:: stream/purchase “Father Figures” here ::
Stream: “Father Figures” – Mother Pearl

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com