Mother Tongues announces debut LP ‘Love in a Vicious Way’

Mother Tongues press photo
Credit: Feng

Mother Tongues, the Toronto-based band led by guitarist/vocalist Lukas Cheung and vocalist/bassist Charise Aragoza, have announced their debut album ‘Love In a Vicious Way’ will be released on July 21st via Wavy Haze Records. The album’s lush lead single A Heart Beating is a goth dream-pop rocker to get lost in, sonically splitting the difference between Alvvays and The Cure. Watch the video for A Heart Beating via YouTube below.

“‘A Heart Beating’ speaks to how we can find ourselves lost in the feedback loop of regrets and longing,” the band explains. “The chorus repeats like some hypnotic spell calling you back into your body.” The track is accompanied by a kaleidoscopic video directed by Carson Teal, featuring visual symbolism of the album’s themes as a heart devours itself, evolves into something shapeless, and ultimately disappears in atrophy. “It’s an exploration of the darker ways we love, the parts with teeth,” says Cheung, who co-produced the album alongside Asher Gould-Murtagh, of its title. “It possesses you, it’s a pit you fall into. Love overtakes you, this record is about surrendering to that feeling.” ‘Love In A Vicious Way’ is available for pre-order here.

Mother Tongues’ reflective debut album is a carefully crafted cyber-psych opus that lurks between the cerebral and feral. At moments, precious and serene; in a blink, snarling, teeth razor-sharp. Its 10 songs about love, longing, desire, and identity are charged with a sincerity and teenage sentimentalism that captures a time when everything was crucial and felt tenfold. ‘Love In A Vicious Way’ sees the band carving out a space for themselves: they are world-building. Joined by Kvesche Bijons-Ebacher (synths), Lane Halley (guitar), and Nick Kervin (drums)–who have played with artists like Lido Pimienta, Maylee Todd, and Zoon–Mother Tongues’ propensity for rich atmospherics and cinematic arrangements here reach stratospheric heights, riding thundering, totalizing waves of angsty alt-rock, interstellar psychedelia, dream-pop-noir, and touches of ‘90s breakbeat and electronica. 

The pulse of Mother Tongues is the friendship and creative partnership between Cheung and Aragoza, who met a decade ago in a Chinatown garage turned DIY punk venue. “Char and I are both children of immigrants, a factor that has a huge impact on your entire life. You’re confronted with the need to constantly justify your existence, and this permeates into every aspect of your life–including how you create. I’ve been trying to see this as less of an obstacle and more as something that charges your work with an intensity and urgency that otherwise might not be possible,” says Cheung. 

While Aragoza is no stranger to the stage–having wet her feet performing in Luna Li and touring alongside acts such as Japanese Breakfast and Beabadoobee–Mother Tongues sees her stepping into the role of singer and front person for the first time. “I’ve always had one foot in the door as a dancer and backup singer for years. On some level I wanted to be up in front, but some barrier always kept me from putting myself totally out there. Playing with other groups was my way of easing into things and building confidence,” Aragoza recalls.

‘Love In A Vicious Way’ ultimately showcases a young band building a musical world that reflects their own unique experience, and extending an invitation to others. “We’re peering into the future and imagining what this world could be. It’s a little William Gibson, a little cyberpunk, it’s lit like a Wong-Kar-Wai film. It’s queer, it’s free, a little goth, everyone’s wearing eyeliner,” Cheung laughs. “I like to imagine our record bleeding out of the headphones of some 16-year-old in this not-so-distant universe.”

‘Love In a Vicious Way’ LP Cover Artwork

Love In a Vicious Way’ LP track list

1. A Heart Beating
2. Dance In The Dark
3. Only You (Reprise)
4. Love In A Vicious Way
5. Only You
6. Drip Drip
7. 2 LUV 2 LIV
8. Ode To Jay
9. Worm Day
10. Lonely Ones

Mother Tongues are set to play several shows supporting The Mattson 2 in Canada; a full itinerary is listed below and tickets are on-sale now. More shows will soon be announced.

Live dates

06/02 – Toronto, ON – Monarch Tavern *
06/03 – Kingston, ON – Hotel Wolfe Island * 
06/04 – Montreal, QC – Diving Bell *
06/06 – St. John’s, NL – Lawnya Vawnya 

* Supporting The Mattson 2

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