Under Review

Under Review: Five Leaves: Fish & Chips, Mother Sun

Shayna Bursey

For a relatively young band, Mother Sun has been in overdrive lately — recording as much as possible, playing virtual shows, and generally staying afloat during these strange times. Perhaps it’s the extra time COVID allows us, perhaps they’re just that inspired. Regardless, we all reap the reward from their hard work.

Based in Kamloops, Mother Sun is a group that requires no introduction in their hometown. Members Jared Doherty, Emilio Pagnotta, Alex Ward and Jared Wilman are involved in a wide span of indie projects bursting from the interior B.C. It’s no surprise these guys would find each other and produce the funky psychedelia that is Mother Sun.

Back in February, they released two singles as follow up to their full length 2020 album, Sips. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s exciting when an artist consistently releases new content, which these guys have been doing since 2018. They have been busy.

The first track of the two-song release is “Five Leaves.” While still cohesive, it’s full of instrumental surprises. After starting off with a surf rock bass line, a dreamy, psychedelic melody kicks in, accompanied by Doherty’s soothing vocals. As the song goes on, the combination of trumpet, saxophone and flugelhorn create a different kind of depth that’s not typically found on a psych track. It acts as a great bridge for the distorted guitar interlude, which is arguably the best part of the song.

The second track is a great match to the first. It’s clear Mother Sun knows how to curate their releases. “Fish & Chips” is upbeat and has an “everything is going to be ok” feeling to it. Written from the viewpoint of a shipwrecked sailor cooking fish and drinking on the beach, the lyrics take a stressful situation and paint it as fun (because why not get drunk and hallucinate while you wait for the search brigade?) The microkorg makes an appearance, giving this song a ‘70s vibe, but still remains relevant in modern indie. Each member recorded their part of the song separately, as we do these days, but you would never know it. As a bonus, there’s an adorable DIY video that accompanies “Fish & Chips,” which only further adds to the carefree nature of this track. —Shayna Bursey