Single Mothers has made a compelling case for bullshit. Not bullshit as in the self-serving act of using untruths for personal gain but rather how red flags, stacked odds and strike outs can somehow inspire a collective recklessness to keep at it.
For Single Mothers, bullshit came early. Its members were born throughout Ontario in the late 80s and early 90s, all to lower class families and many to single parent households. Some grew up on native reservations while others were raised by maternal grandparents. Some were the byproducts of one night stands. Some have 20 siblings. All ended up in London, ON – restless, frustrated and hungry to escape.
Founded by poet and vocalist Drew Thomson in 2008, the band began as a means for payback. However, due to Thomson’s short fuse and tendency to destroy equipment, Single Mothers quickly ran through 9 members. Known to fire his entire band outright- which he did in 2009- and to have two different versions of the band existing at the same time, Thomson would simultaneously dissolve the band and keep it going. At one point, the band even continued on without him.
Somehow the right characters fell into place. Guitarist Micheal Peterson was tricked into the band; originally joining as drummer before moving on to bass then guitar then front man before returning to guitar. Drummer Matt Bouchard joined but was fired after getting into a car accident (but was later reinstated), and bassist Evan Redsky came on board in between stints in the navy and theatre school.
What emerged was a very different band. They were dangerously explosive live and exuded a palpable tension that clearly bled into the music. Creating feral punk with rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities, Single Mothers exuded serious songwriting chops as evidenced by their penchant for melody, hooks and dynamics. Also noticeable was Thomson’s distinctive howl and clear enunciation of literary lyrics that are vignettes of small town
ennui and misguided bravado.
Overlooked by their hometown, the band quietly posted their final EP online and disbanded in early 2011. The S/T EP achieved a cult following and was later released by Deathwish’s Secret Voice in early 2012. Promoted on the strength of the band’s Christian Girls music video, the EP sold out in weeks.
In May 2012, the band decided to give it one last push: they quit their jobs, gave up their homes and procured a tour van through money willed to them by a deceased grandparent. Temporarily relocating to Montreal, they couch surfed and began writing their debut album, and practiced for the first time in a year. Despite little touring experience, they booked six weeks of shows across North America that summer then joined Title Fight on a 33 date North American tour last fall.
02. High Speed
03. Long Distance
05. People Are Pets
08. Well Wisher
10. Bolt Cutters