Folk-punk, as a genre, tends to confuse the general public. The warbling vocals and folky guitar are appealing to a select few, some of whom are attracted to the realistic sounds and vivid emotions conveyed through that specific combination of sounds. MomTalk, a local folk-punk solo project, just released a debut album, “It is your birthday.,” and it is just as full of authenticity and emotion as its previous EP, which you can read about here.
As a vocalist and overall musician, Kaylor Martel, the man behind MomTalk, seems to have improved since his previous EP. His vocals are both stronger and more on-pitch, although he remains true to the folk-punk genre and is still nothing if not genuine. The guitar is not as aggressive and the overall sound quality is far better, as well, making the album more accessible, even to someone who doesn’t automatically like folk-punk.
The bitter, heartbroken lyrics remain a constant, however; Martel’s lyric-writing is as impressive as ever with vivid imagery and unexpected rhymes. “Watered down alcohol” is self-deprecating, admitting to faults and resorting to manipulation to maintain a relationship (“I’m not a good dude/I’m rude, ungrateful, and mean/I’ve been watering down your alcohol/so you would still talk to me”). Meanwhile, “For someone who wants to die” is unsurprisingly morbid, but lyrics are thought-provoking at times (“And for someone who wants to die so bad/you sure walk across the street pretty fast”).
MomTalk’s discography collectively sounds like a dirty winter in Columbus in the best possible way; Martel captures the grey skies, the melting snow, and the seasonal depression perfectly in both his previous EP and “It is your birthday.” although the latter has shown musical growth.
December is a tough month for many around the country, especially those who struggle with seasonal depression. “It’s your birthday.” is a fitting soundtrack for the week ahead; while everyone gears up for Christmas, sometimes it’s okay just to be sad.