For those who didn’t already feel bad about scrambling to cobble together last-minute gifts for their mothers this holiday season, prepare to feel even more guilty in the face of Laura Stevenson. The Long Island-bred songwriter has just released two songs today, a gift to her mother on her birthday. “The Mystic and The Master” and “Maker Of Things” both draw inspiration from growing up as the daughter of a single mom. And while Stevenson has delved into familial relationships in the past (_Whee_l’s “Renée,” a song about her stepmother, comes to mind), these two are among the most intimate she’s written.
“Maker of Things” takes a violent memory in a gas station and turns it into something delicate and beautiful. On “The Mystic and The Master,” Stevenson digs a little deeper for more personal storytelling with recollections like “She’ll paint you a shiny porcelain tooth, like the one that hangs in hunch from her second man’s sucker punch” and “flinch not as your boss undoes your bra, because you need your job.”
Stevenson has a gift for making the somber sound joyous and vice versa through her tremendous voice, but these two tracks perfectly reflect the tone of these childhood reflections.
All proceeds from the Bandcamp sales of the songs will go to the non-profit organization Safe Horizons.
Listen to the two tracks below. Oh, and happy birthday to Laura’s mom.