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September 2022

Sep 01, 2014

Mozart's Sister


Mozart's Sister


(Paper Bag) 

Music is evolving. It can’t be denied; the hits of today are a far-cry from the resounding symphonies of the past. The strings of the cello and violin have been replaced with computerized beeps and boops and knee tappers have been replaced with bangers. An entire choir of voices can now be summarized by a single person’s anguished vocals with a little tampering from a laptop. It’s the future now friends.

Yet, Mozart’s Sister has bridged the gap between time periods. Packing a timeless punch and a thumping bass, the solo project from Calia Thompson-Hannant is reminiscent of Mozart’s original work with a stark twist I can only corralate to Alicia Keys. Just as Wolfgang buckled down and created a cacophony of uncommon sound for his audience, Thompson-Hannant is drawing breathtaking parallels in her craft. If classical music had a rave sub-genre, Mozart’s Sister would fit in just fine.


Being is about being singular. The album sets Callie apart from her previous collaborations with Shapes & Sizes and Think About Life and has taken influence from her close friend (and rising star) Grimes. With a similar indie-pop flair, the first thing listeners will notice about Mozart’s Sister is the strong melody. Callie’s solo-project is defined by her expansive voice that is almost an instrument by itself, creating a rhythm of its own while still conveying all the raw power of a solo artist. The versatility of her sound is simply incomparable.


In “Bow a Kiss,” the versatile beat descends upon unsuspecting listeners in a flurry. Before you realize it, the track becomes a rhythmic soundtrack to any upbeat night or down-tempo chill session. On the flip side, “A Move” takes it upon itself to create a one-of-a-kind experience, putting all who listen into a serene trance. A repiticious mantra of “Life/Death”, followed by the sole utterance of the word “One” really seizes the album’s theme and shoves it down the throat of anyone within earshot. However, no matter what song you’re listening to, the album moves forward. There is a single-minded motivation that drives the LP right until the last song, “Chained Together.” The entire song is driven by a booming bass line that strangely contrasts the pop atmosphere that Thompson-Hannant has created previously in the album, yet fitting perfectly with the eclectic personality of the album.


Just as the first track states, Being is something good and bad. There’s light and dark in each song, simultaneously trying to be a high energy showpiece and a serious expression of the artists most personal feelings. Despite describing the album as “unfocused” in an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Mozart’s Sister has accomplished what I argue is the most focused, unfocused album of 2014. It’s a feat when you can’t equate an album to anything but scraps of other albums. In an century that has seen creativity rationed in favor of party bangers, it’s refreshing to sit down and listen to something that isn’t quite R&B and isn’t quite electronic. It’s the perfect soundtrack to bend yourself into a pretzel in Yoga class and rock out to in a basement full close friends. If you’re looking for something to fit any mood and no mood at all, look no further than Being.

Zach Simon