I heard “Medicine” for the first time this June. It was the middle of work day, and the single appeared on one of my Apple Music-generated playlists. For this, I will forever owe Apple. The simple opening guitar riff struck me right away, as did the build up to the chorus, and then the climax: “One shot/ I never really ask a lot/ I’m on/ A bender and I’ll never stop/ One hit/ And I’m higher than I’ve ever been/ One kiss/ And I’m hooked on your medicine.” At one minute and 12 seconds in, I was, in fact, hooked on Momma’s medicine. The Brooklyn band’s third album Household Name dropped shortly after—I was still playing “Medicine,” loudly, on repeat—and quickly became one of my favorite albums of the year. At 45 minutes, Momma speak to those of us who love early ’90s grunge-infused alt-rock and Gen Z listeners with the ability to laugh at themselves and the genres they’re experimenting with. They also have that pure zillennial ability to call it like it is. The album is best when played loud—it’s great for driving and singing along with the windows down—but don’t forgo listening to the lyrics. The opening track, “Rip Off,” grabs at the desire for fame and the position artists, especially women artists, often face: “I always fall/ For a whiskey shot/ If you pick up the tab/ You can take me back/ I wanna be/ Your next big thing/ Did you tell your boss?/ That you’re gonna be/ A rip off/ I’m waiting for your call/ I’ve got what you want/ Now you’re singing along/ To my song.” Momma began as a duo of high school friends with a shared admiration for ’90s rockers, including Nirvana, the Pixies, and Liz Phair. Their music still has tinges of teen angst in the best ways possible. Allegra Weingarten (guitars and vocals) and Etta Friedman (guitars and vocals) have been playing together since 2016, but it seems Household Name, for which they brought in multi-instrumentalist and producer Aron Kobayashi Ritch, is the album that will do just as the album’s title suggests: Make them a household name. Since its release, the band have toured with Snail Mail. Now they’re headlining their own tour that stops at Songbyrd this fall, and I would not miss it for all the medicine. Momma play at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Songbyrd in Northeast. songbyrddc.com. $15–$18.
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