Today Mamalarky have announced details of their new album ‘Pocket Fantasy’ for September 30th release on Fire Talk Records, along with a first single and video entitled “Mythical Bonds.”
Six months into the pandemic, three-fourths of art-rock band Mamalarky plunged into a new experiment and moved in together. Guitarist-vocalist Livvy Bennett and keyboardist Michael Hunter drove across the country, decamping from Los Angeles to bassist Noor Khan’s hometown, Atlanta. In September 2020, the trio rented a giant old house with vaulted ceilings, a tire swing, and a bare-bones little studio room. There, the band made its largely home-recorded new album.
The resulting album, ‘Pocket Fantasy’ is a perfect sunny-day record – imaginative and introspective, an enveloping listen of sky-high hooks and keyboards that soar with joyful abandon. Its twelve kaleidoscopic tracks shape-shift aesthetically and thematically, through ideas about death and impermanence; love and gratitude; nature and technology; humour and hope.
Today, the band share a playful ode to their friendship with new single “Mythical Bonds“, which comes alongside a video directed by Ambar Navarro (Soccer Mommy, Cuco, Moaning).
“I really needed to write something to accurately show Noor how much her friendship means to me, and our journey as musicians and friends,” Bennett reflects. “We need more songs about friendship. In peak album-making mode we were churning out songs, at times to the point of delirium. So we decided to shake ourselves loose and make this serotonin rock song about how much we love each other–to push past all those hunched-over studio hours and create this little summer memento. At the time we were having a lot of pond, lake and pool-side hangs, laughter under the beating heat. At the end of those days all we wanted to do was come home and synthesize those feelings in our studio.”
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“We were just living in the album for an entire year,” says Bennett. Physically enmeshed in each other’s lives and processes in new ways, the trio connected more deeply around one another’s creative languages, honing in on their tight-knit group-logic. “We would work on it all day, and I would fall asleep with the songs in my head. It was really: eat, sleep, breathe, record music.” Drummer Dylan Hill remained based in the band’s hometown, Austin, collaborating through voice memos, and making regular trips to Georgia to record. “It felt like I was stepping into another world,” Hill says, of those fruitful visits.
Mamalarky formed in 2016, growing out of the house show scene in Austin, TX that surrounded their cooperative student housing. But their roots as friends run even deeper: Bennett and Hill met in middle school band, and they’ve played in bands with Hunter since high school. (Single, “You Know I Know,” nods to the big music dreams of their Texas upbringing.) When the band moved to LA after the release of their first record, they met Khan. ‘Pocket Fantasy’ follows their 2020 self-titled full-length debut, the 2018 EP Fundamental Thrive Hive, and support tours with Slow Pulp, Jerry Paper, and Ginger Root, among others. When they’re off the road, Mamalarky now jokingly calls itself “tri-coastal,” with Bennett and Hunter back in LA, Hill in Austin, and Khan in Atlanta.
The process of home recording helped crack open their collaborative approach. Constant tracking at home helped take off some of the pressure of the studio; the group could experiment without regard for whether songs would make the album; they could just write and play and collect material without worrying if anyone would ever hear it. “It’s more alive,” Bennett says. “And less over-thought. It felt like it was pouring out continually.” Hunter adds: “We were very much learning the home-recording process as we went along… It’s music that’s heavily inspired by the process.”
‘Pocket Fantasy’ will be released on September 30th via Fire Talk. Pre-order/pre-save here.
‘Pocket Fantasy’ track list:
1. Frog 2
2. Mythical Bonds – Official video
3. Little Robot
4. You Know I Know
5. It Hurts
7. Building Castles
8. Dance Together
9. Shining Armor
10. The Hour
11. Mote Controller