Mother Tongues

The pulse of Toronto’s Mother Tongues is the friendship and creative partnership between guitarist/vocalist Lukas Cheung and vocalist/bassist Charise Aragoza, who met a decade ago in a Chinatown garage turned DIY punk venue. Love In a Vicious Way, the band’s reflective 2023 debut album, is a carefully crafted cyber-psych opus that lurks between the cerebral and feral. At moments, precious and serene; in a blink, snarling, teeth razor-sharp. Its 10 songs about love, longing, desire, and identity are charged with a sincerity and teenage sentimentalism that captures a time when everything was crucial and felt tenfold. Love In A Vicious Way sees the band carving out a space for themselves: they are world-building. Like some rare bird mimicking the machines at the edge of the forest, the album echoes the beauty, darkness, and weight of life in these ever-changing times. 

While Aragoza is no stranger to the stage – having wet her feet performing in Luna Li and touring alongside acts such as Japanese Breakfast and Beabadoobee – Mother Tongues sees her stepping into the role of singer and front person for the first time. Writing Love In A Vicious Way was a back and forth dialogue between Cheung and Aragoza, a process that verged on telepathy. The album takes Mother Tongues’ propensity for rich atmospherics and cinematic arrangements to stratospheric heights, riding thundering, totalizing waves of angsty alt-rock, interstellar psychedelia, dream-pop-noir, and touches of ‘90s breakbeat and electronica.