Five Floom-approved tunes that will get you in the mood for Mother’s Day without drowning you in cheesy sentimentality or trite cliches…
Ghostface Killah ft. Mary J Blige - All That I Got Is You
This Iron Man cut was one of the many highlights from that golden period of Wu Tang solo records in the mid-nineties. Mary J. Blige delivers a sumptuous hook and verse that somehow still manages to capture the fragile complexities of the song’s ‘mother’ character. Just as memorable however are the richly-woven verses from Ghost himself, typifying the intricate, evocative storytelling that had become his M.O. Instead of focusing on the gritty cocaine-noir of his work with Raekwon however, here he paints a picture of tough childhoods and a mother whose love shines through all the problems thrown at her, both on a personal and wider level.
Things was deep, my whole youth was sharper than cleats
Two brothers with muscular dystrophy, it killed me
But I remember this, moms would lick her finger tips
To wipe the coal out my eye before school wit her spit
Case worker had her runnin' back to face-to-face
I caught a case, Housin' tried to throw us out of our place
Sometimes I look up at the stars and analyze the sky
And ask myself was I meant to be here... why?
Kate Bush - This Woman’s Work
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t experience some sort of involuntary shivers when this song starts up? Haunting piano chords plucked from the ether, and that wordless voice offering up the most muted and resigned of howls. To be honest, the whole song is a series of goosebumps-inducing moments. Led by that voice, it is that rare ode to the strengths of womanhood and motherhood that manages to never feel reductive: magical and gritty at the same time.
Give me these moments back
Give them back to me
Give me that little kiss
Give me your hand
Drake - You And The
For better or worse, Drake is the voice of his generation: bewildered and bewildering all at once, desperately trying to navigate the life he occupies. ‘You And The Six’ appears towards the end of last year’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and is one of the most emotionally-wrought and affecting tracks of his career. Taking the loose form of a ‘conversation with mama’ he tries to make sense of his success, his wealth, his relationships, his roots… All the while blurring the boundaries between each of those, as he has a habit of doing. One thing cuts through the endless cultural signifiers and bizarre boasts however: the love ol’ Drizzy has for his mum.
Having conversations with mama, man, my life is a mess
Ain't been returning her texts, so she been reading the press
She got Google Alerts, that shit goes straight to her phone
She worry 'bout me from home, you know she raised me alone
She said, "I heard you back with you know who"
I told her, "girl, I'm always back with you know who"
And she like, "who are we kidding? You're 27, you just being you
You're your father's child, man, thank God you got some me in you"
The Knife - We Share Our Mother’s Health
Silent Shout remains the towering achievement of The Knife’s career (in this humble writer’s opinion anyway): the perfect synthesis of the Scandinavian duo’s pulsating beats, oddball synth play and even more oddball vocal transformations. A surreal, abstract exploration of the siblings’ shared parentage, ‘We Share Our Mother’s Health’ typifies the album’s quest for some sort of spiritual meaning in the midst of soulless modernity. It is also an undoubtedly fun, strangely euphoric track (and received a bombastic, if slightly dated now, dancefloor-oriented rework from Trentemoller).
We came down from the north
Blue hands and a torch
Red wine and food for free
We share our mothers' health
It is what we've been dealt
Sun Kil Moon - I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love
A cantankerous old grouch he may be, but it’s difficult to deny that Mark Kozelek has been one of the outstanding songwriters of the past twenty years or so. Benji was the album that brought his work to a wider audience and it’s a highlight in his catalogue for sure. It also marked the start of a creative period noticeable for the repeated focus on his love for his ever-aging parents. ‘I Can’t Live…’ is one of the most straightforward songs on the album, a lilting melody running through Kozelek’s always-beautiful guitar playing. It allows his striking voice to stand front and centre, along with the simple sentiment at the heart of the song…
When she's gone, I'll miss our slow easy walks
Playing Scrabble with the chimes of the grandfather clock
I'll even miss the times that we fought
But mostly I'll miss being able to call her and talk