Originally from Austin, and after a spell in LA, recently relocated to Atlanta, Mamalarky formed through the somewhat unusual setting of Tinder. After collaborating for many years with drummer, Dyland Hill, songwriter and vocalist, Livvy Bennett took to the dating-app with a plea for a bass-player, which was met by Noor Khan, and alongside keyboard player, Michael Hunter, Mamalarky was born. After catching many ears with their debut EP, Fundamental Thrive Hive, the band recently found a new home in Fire Talk, who’ve previously released the likes of Fran, Corey Flood and Dehd, and last week the band released their self-titled debut album.
As Mamalarky set out to make their debut album, they had a vision in mind: to shape the, “patchwork of different influences that comes together as a cozy quilt you can cuddle under”. Mamalarky are a collective of musical obsessives, outside of the band they are touring musicians and band managers, people dedicated to music above all else. The result is a record that seems to be indebted to the great and good of music history, a blur of musical ideas, melded into weird and wonderful soundscapes entirely of their own creation. There’s an almost hyper level of creativity here, a record that zips between styles and sounds, rarely stopping anywhere for long, channelling the spirit of an array of artists, from the angular stop-start rhythms of Weaves, the wonky-pop of Pom Poko and the wonderfully noisy edge of Deerhoof. In the foreground throughout is Livvy’s vivid story-telling, scratch the surface and these are personal tales, memories of feeling lost and lonely, repressing old relationships and the band’s own experience of being dotted across the country, wondering when the chance would come to be together again. This is the sound of a band in love with making music, a record that’s a fun, exciting and joyous expression of self, and one that feels like the start of something very special indeed.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Mamalarky?
Mamalarky is myself (Livvy) on guitar and vocals, Noor on bass, Michael on keys, and Dylan on drums. We don’t know what genre we are but since there’s live drums rock is somewhere in the mix, since we like to modulate a lot it could be psych, and since our song structures are often verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, well that there’s a straight ahead pop format, so come to your own conclusions.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I remember thinking I’m going to do this as long as I can. We played at a co-op house in Austin and definitely didn’t entirely know what we were doing but it felt more right than any other musicians I had ever played with. I remember some fuck boys acting surprised at my guitar playing which is always very annoying to me!
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
To me music always felt like the most intimate expression someone could put out there. The inflection in their voice and the way they sustain a note on their instrument really makes you feel like they’re there with you, it encompasses the whole room you’re listening to it in. Music is also a conduit for visual art, acting, poetry, fashion. Growing up I used to close my eyes when I listened to music and dream up visual stories around the song, every night before bed. It just feels very experiential, it’s a MOMENT. I also really enjoy the collaborative process that being in a band allows me to experience.
FTR: What can people expect from the Mamalarky live show?
Since we have some ~virtual~ shows coming up, you can expect new music and a better mix because we get to do it ourselves haha.
FTR: What’s next for Mamalarky?
We’ve just put out our very first, self-titled album on November 20th!!! That’s the most exciting thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.
They Listen To…
Xinxin – Trust
MANNY SÁNCHEZ – Fuck Ice
Unit 4 + 2 – Concrete And Clay
Macula Dog – Gang of Geniuses
Yves Jarvis – Fact Almighty