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Mother Moses | via facebook.com/mothermoses

Earlier this month, local trio Mother Moses released Bowling Shoes, a lovely new EP that finds the group turning toward the aesthetics of indie rock. The band, which formed in 2013 and currently includes Jon CoxGenevieve DeGroot and Collin Dennen, constructed their previous releases Slow the Fire and Traveling Glass on American folk and roots foundations with acoustic guitar, upright bass and fiddle. Every track on Bowling Shoes still relies on Cox’s acoustic guitar work, but electric bass, drum set, and electric guitars also play important roles on the EP.

Mother Moses recorded Bowling Shoes at So Big Auditory with engineer Heather Jones and achieved a thick mix that makes Cox’s acoustic guitar less delicate but just as close. The EP has less dynamic contrast than previous Mother Moses projects, but still gives the instruments a generous sense of physical space.

The opening track, also the title track, features several layers of clean, acoustic and distorted guitars, which add some uneasy psychedelia to Cox’s gentle reflection on dreams and silhouettes. Electric guitar plucks also add an edge to “Strangers,” the EP’s wintriest track and its most vulnerable. Pedal steel guitar parts played by Peter Gill (Free Cake For Every CreatureFriendship) contribute to some of the album’s most memorable moments, including on “The Weight of Water,” which features Cox, Dennen and DeGroot in gorgeous three-part harmony. But the track that stuck with me the most was “Baseball Game,” less than two minutes long, on which Cox sings in his affecting falsetto about heaven and a new bedroom. Elsewhere on the EP, Cox’s lyrics touch on memories, wonder, boredom, cold, and conversations that go on too long.

Last month, Mother Moses released the single “In the Ring,” which followed their beautiful full-length Traveling Glass from February. DeGroot and Cox also perform together as Sadurn, and they last released the cassette Gleam in March. Sadurn will perform at Anthorna Gallery on Thursday August 8th with The Human Fly, Soupy and Michael Cormier. Mother Moses’ EP Bowling Shoes came out on July 12th on Before the World Ends Tapes.

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