Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Single Mothers doesn’t want to have your baby, baby

Photo: Zachary Radford

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we’re picking our favorite songs with the word “baby” in the title.

When Ontario’s Single Mothers released its self-titled EP in 2011 the band quickly found itself getting compared to The Hold Steady instead of any of the hardcore bands that informed its music, largely due to vocalist Andrew Thomson’s speak-scream vocals and lyrics about drug-induced benders. In a way, it wasn’t so much that Thomson was doing an aggressive take on Craig Finn, but that those all-ages hardcore shows that The Hold Steady had raved about had finally inspired a band that sounded like it would be on those bills and perhaps buying drugs off Charlemagne out back. Single Mothers closing track, “Baby,” shows Thomson in peak Finn form, as he weaves a tale about gathering some money and hitting the road after he learns that, “My baby wants a baby, baby.” It’s that kind of repetition and twisted meaning of a single word that showed Thomson’s tongue-in-cheek nature, even in the midst of him placing seedy stories atop the band’s blown-out Black Flag homage. Thomson briefly quit Single Mothers to become a gold prospector but recently rejoined the band for its upcoming debut full-length, an act that puts him in a similar position to the protagonist of “Baby” as a character with a tendency to cut and run, only to be drawn back in by the dank, drugged-up basements of their youth.

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