Momma are sounding increasingly impressive
Luke Ballance
13:09 28th June 2022

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The product of a lockdown spent in close proximity, Household Name is a refreshingly personal effort from West Coast musicians Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten, whose evocative grunge outings as Momma are sounding increasingly impressive.

Emerging via Bandcamp in their university years with rough sketches like 2016’s thanks come again EP, the pair have since pinned down a writing style that teeters between sunkissed imagery and homage to their predecessors, interchanging the lead vocalist on each song. With the entrance of producer Aron Kobayashi Ritch, their third album has inherited a newfound sheen; by the time they arrive at the Tenacious D-inspired assertion at the heart of the album, “I’m a real rockstar”, the instrumentation beneath them backs up the statement.

While the ironic theme of craving success crops up frequently on titles like ‘Rip Off’ and ‘No Stage’, plenty of tracks are imbued with genuine emotion. The scintillating ‘Lucky’ is a heartfelt ode to a partner Etta longs to spend more time with, and the achingly moving ‘Brave’ finds a downtrodden Allegra processing a recent breakup. At times, fact and fiction are playfully intertwined: the tongue-in-cheek ‘Rockstar’ references the true story of the duo’s painstaking search for a worthy drummer, and ‘Tall Home’, in which a reclusive Etta is driven to desperate measures to protect their privacy, appears to embody real-life fears of the “towny gossip type” just as much as it leans into the celebrity persona. It’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins – and that’s part of the fun. 

Household Name arrives 1 July.

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Photo: Press