Over the past year couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the London-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, musician and actress Lola Kirke. Perhaps best known for her roles in Noah Bambauch’s Mistress America and the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, and David Fincher’s Gone Girl, the London-born, New York-based JOVM mainstay is the daughter of drummer Simon Kirke, who was a member of the 70s hit-making rock bands Bad Company and Free and Lorraine Kirke, the owner of Geminola, a New York-based vintage boutique known for supplying outfits for Sex and the City. She’s also the sister of singer/songwriter Domino Kirke.
During that same period of time, Kirke has developed a reputation as singer/songwriter and solo artist, releasing last year’s Wyndham Garnett-produced full-length debut Heart Head West, a deeply personal effect that Kirke said at the time was “about basically everything I thought about in 2017 — time, loss, social injustice, sex, drinking, longing — essentially everything I’d talk about with a close friend for 40 minutes.” Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Kirke will be releasing an EP of country duets, Friends and Foes and Friends Again through Downtown Records on September 13, 2019. The EP reportedly finds Kirke further developing the honky tonk country sound that has her won her attention across the blogosphere — while subtly updating it, a smidge.
The EP’s first single is the gorgeous and achingly mournful “Mama.” Penned by Kirke herself and featuring Wet’s Kelly Zutrau, the song about the painful complexities of the mother/daughter relationship, written from lived-in, deeply personal experience. And as a result, the song’s narrator expresses remorse, regret and longing for a relationship that’s been tainted by the pride, idiosyncrasies, misunderstandings, different perspectives of two stubborn, hurting, foolish and very human adults, who love each other — but also know how to wound each other.
Lola’s older sister, Jemina Kirke offered to direct the video. And originally, Jemina and Lola intended to have their mother star in the video. But when their mom politely declined, they decided to age Lola to create their own mother figure. The cinematically shot yet intimate visual follows our mother figure in her some of her deepest, most private moments — getting dressed and going through her daily beauty routine, fussing about through an enormous mansion before eating a cheeseburger and washing it down with a beer. Is she preparing for some sort of gathering? We don’t know. But what’s obvious is that the mother figure in the video is painfully lonely — and the video suggests that she is going through some sort of emotional breakdown.
“It’s a perverse not mine to want to see people in their private moment,” Jemina Kirke says of the video. “I would’ve loved to her be defecating on the toilet but decided ravenous eating was just as good, just as grotesquely human. This story is about a character of stature and prestige, whose live is all about appearances, engaging in an act that puts her on the level with everyone else. And then the relief (and the horror) that comes from that.”