The Daughters Union
The Daughters Union is, by my count at least, the 25th release from South Portland’s experimental, DIY, family art-rock band, Big Blood. But it’s the very first from the group as a trio. Since 2006, Big Blood albums have been repositories for whatever happened to strike the fancy of husband-and-wife team Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella (both former members of Cerberus Shoal). Now 11-year-old Quinnisa Kinsella-Mulkerin officially joins her parents on a journey that’s been both epic in scope and humble in execution. If you think the addition of a child would make this challenging music feel safer, you’d be wrong. The Daughters Union is dedicated to Yoko Ono, and it works fantastically as an homage to her. Songs are built from hypnotic loops and circular riffs, and are given the breathing room to expand and contract. They’re designed to disrupt one’s sense of normalcy and replace it with a deeper, weirder normal. When Kinsella unfurls her piercingly clear alto, the beauty of it all is laid bare. And also, like Ono, Big Blood are not averse to sweet sentiments and pop constructs. On a cover of The Troggs’ “Our Love Will Still Be There,” the family sings about how their bond will endure even if the world stops turning. One is tempted to say the same about their art.
— Joe Sweeney
Big Blood plays The Apohadion Theater on Aug. 5.