Song Premiere: The Mother Hips “Clay Mask Clown”
Photo credit: Andrew Quist
The Mother Hips‘ eleventh studio album, Glowing Lantern, will be released on December 3. Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono co-founded the group when they were students at Chico State and The Mother Hips celebrated their 30th anniversary earlier this year with the release of their entire studio discography on limited edition vinyl.
The band wrote and recorded the album last year during the pandemic with Bluhm and Loiacono serving as producers. The results reflect the many conflicting emotions that the world experienced during that moment in time. Today we are premiering “Clay Mask Clown” from Glowing Lantern, which is now available for pre-save.
Tim Bluhm explains that the song originated with “the feeling of having a clay mask over my face was coming on, among other unpleasant symptoms, during episodes of acute anxiety I was having surrounding a difficult time in an important relationship. I’ve come to learn that a mask can represent the ‘repression of the cooperative self,’ as well as the ‘angry state of the unjustly condemned ego.’ That all makes a lot of sense in the context of the lyrics, I will sheepishly admit.
“Greg and I are both playing single-coil Fenders on this recording which gives the song a clear yet driving and edgy guitar sound. Obviously there’s some inspiration from The Who. The C Suspended 7 chord that the song is built on gives it a darkness and a lack of resolve that I think works well for the subject matter.
“This was the first song we recorded during the ‘Glowing Lantern sessions. 10 days later, on the last evening of tracking, I felt that we should re-record it. We were exhausted and no one was really very enthused about re-running a song we already had in the can but we played it 6 or 7 times and finally got the master.”
The Mother Hips will close out the year with five California dates. They will appear at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Dec. 17-19, followed by a two-night New Year’s Eve run at Harlow’s in Sacramento on Dec. 30-31.