MOTHXR | Centerfold (Washington Square)

This is a song meant for lovers, for retreating into a dark corner of the nightclub and exploring things: names, dreams, bodies.


From my very first play of Brooklyn quarter MOTHXR’s debut LP, I was hooked. The band defies easy classification, making it a surprising, enthralling, and sensual listen from start to finish.

Kicking it all off is the title track, a slow burner with languid vocals, a smooth synth line, and a familiarity that’s difficult to place. The languid funk of “Easy” is splendidly inviting, buffered by an insinuatingly sexy bass line. With “Fight the Feeling,” MOTHXR takes it up a notch, delivering an upbeat track with a searing invitation to the dance floor. Penn Badgley’s voice slips easily into falsetto, always a weakness of mine.

On “I Can’t See,” the band introduces electronica elements into its sound; it’s a stark, mostly instrumental slow groove that perfectly provides a bridge to the simmering sexiness of “Impossible.” This is a song meant for lovers, for retreating into a dark corner of the nightclub and exploring things: names, dreams, bodies. “She Can’t Tell” maintains that mood, and segues nicely into the laidback R&B vibes of “Stranger.”

“She’s a good bad girl,” Badgely sings on “Touch,” as we’re transported back to that shadowy corner. The synth and drum lines underscoring “Underground” slightly recall the 1980s, yet the band throws in more of the sexy sounds they’ve developed so well on this disc. “Victim” is perfect for two bodies moving slowly, closely against one another, while disc closer “Wild Ride” shifts our vision to the sky, to the expanse and wonder that’s all around us.

All in all, MOTHXR has produced a collection perfect for the club or the bedroom. Where you go with it is up to you; either way, you’ll want to take Centerfold along for the ride. A | Laura Hamlett

After a month-long European tour, MOTHXR will be taking its headlining act across the United States (with a couple forays into Canada). More information available on the band’s Facebook page.

09.27 | Great Scott, Boston
09.28 | Bowery Ballroom, New York
09.29 | The Foundry @ The Fillmore, Philadelphia
09.30 | Metro Gallery, Baltimore
10.1 | Songbyrd, Washington DC
10.4 | Adelaide Hall, Toronto
10.5 | El Club, Detroit
10.6 | Subterranean, Chicago
10.7 | 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
10.8 | The Riot Room, Kansas City
10.9 | Larimer Lounge, Denver
10.12 | Valley Bar, Phoenix
10.13 | Voodoo Room @ House of Blues, San Diego
10.14 | The Wayfarer, Costa Mesa CA
10.15 | The Troubadour, Los Angeles
10.16 | Treasure Island After Party @ Starline, Oakland
10.18 | Lola’s Room, Portland
10.19 | Vera, Seattle
10.20 | Cobalt, Vancouver BC
10.22 | Olympic, Boise
10.23 | Kilby Court, Salt Lake City
10.25 | Fox Theater, Boulder
10.27 | Dada, Dallas
10.28 | Antone’s, Austin
10.29 | Rudyard’s, Houston
10.30 | Hi Ho Lounge, New Orleans
11.1 | Exit/In, Nashville
11.2 | Aisle 5, Atlanta
11.3 | Chapel Hill, NC | Local 506, Chapel Hill

About Laura Hamlett 436 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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