The Ward brothers give another fan favourite new life, pouring into your soul to give something you didn’t know you needed
After serving up a poppy mashup of psychedelic sounds with their single ‘Fuzzface’ earlier this year, Melbourne based indie-pop duo Mother Culture are back in full force with an intimate new single, ‘Scaramouche’.
Stripping their sound back with soaring guitar lines and dreamy delicate melodies, brothers Spencer and Darcy Ward manage to be both impossible to pigeonhole, while still maintaining that instantly recognisable and authentic rock, pop and psychedelia sound that we’ve come to know and love.
Like a breath of sweet fresh air, ‘Scaramouche’ projects an elegant and sparse sound with exquisitely warm guitar tones in what could be described as feather-light instrumentation, bringing the caramel melodic vocal tones and silk melodies to the fore, taking listeners on an emotional trip of accepting the passage of time.
Effortlessly blending catchy acoustic riffs, drifting piano and commanding vocals with influences surging from both Sticky Fingers and The Beatles, the contagious and incredibly lush ballad is slow-building, cresting to an emotional wave that crashes across the chorus with a narrative to caress and capture your ears and heart.
Recorded in their Melbourne based home studio, the song leans itself to a warmth that is further augmented by backing vocals of a tranquil arrangement delivered across the three beautiful minutes, taking listeners to starry heights. You end up on a floating cloud wondering how you made it to the sun.
Though a bit on the slower side to what we’re used to from the duo, ‘Scaramouche’ is the sound of a band maturing and developing beautifully. At its core, it’s the kind of track that will have you reclining in a hammock and singing along in no time, wishing the brothers were performing it just for you.
View this post on Instagram
Simple yet wholesome, the track has a dreamlike quality with vocals that could heal all wounds, detailing the serene yet restless journey of finding the beauty in your own mortality and what surrounds you, inspired by their childhood pet cat ‘Scaramouche’.
“I was sitting in the backyard one day jamming with my dear friend Dhanesh while Scara was frolicking around. He was a pretty clever cat and would often pry open our flyscreen door with his claws whenever it suited him, so he went and tried to let himself inside but somehow got his claw stuck in the door, the poor thing,” Mother Culture explain.
“While watching him go through this struggle of freeing himself I came up with the main guitar riff and vocal melody, maybe that makes me a bit of a bad pet owner. Since Scara was the initial inspiration, I decided to stay on this track and write the lyrics from his perspective. He was getting quite old at the time so the lyrics deal with coming to terms with and accepting the passage of time.
“It’s about finding the beauty in your own mortality and what surrounds you. About being stuck in a place you know you can’t stay, but never really want to leave.”
Much like the release of the high octane ‘Fuzzface’, ‘Scaramouche’ actually sees the brothers revisiting their roots once again, giving new life to a rough demo they released on Soundcloud in 2015, when the two were dabbling with various bands and producing their own music.
“Mother Culture as a project had kind of been around for a while, I’d sort of been in it with a few mates from high school originally which eventually broke up and stuff,” Darcy explains.
“I then did a few things solo and Spencer was playing live in the band with me. We started working in the studio together, so we decided to make it [Mother Culture] our thing, take it seriously and go in a new direction.”
That direction was up – and it’s only ever been up for Mother Culture. Despite releasing ‘Scaramouche’ as a demo years ago, with its gentle summer vibes and softness, the song stood out as a favourite for them and felt worthy of receiving the full studio treatment before the brothers move on to produce newer cuts.
Already boasting the band’s signature acoustic instrumentation, the demo had the bare bones of what they wanted (some of which must be credit co-writer Dhanesh Jayaselan) which made re-recording all about finessing what was already there, resulting in a much more luscious sound.
“We were able to focus on fleshing everything out and bringing the track to life. Not to say we didn’t have any fun with it though, eagled-eared fans of the original will certainly notice there’s plenty of new little moments of ear candy throughout the track.
“Those kinds of little touches always just have a way of coming about naturally in the moment and they always make for our favourite parts in the whole process.”
Mother Culture are a band clearly set on forging their own path, and it’s one which we’re sure to see push them the moniker of indie-pop darlings and onto bonafide success. At the very least, prepare to play this little heart-wrencher on repeat 24/7.