Adult Mom was originally the solo project of Steph/Stevie Knipe, a reclusive queer from New York state.
Her early recordings were diaristic in nature: the three-song EP
Bedroom Recordings (2012), with the
fragile, ghostly bedroom-folk of
Splitting my Ends,
the five-song EP Bstmommy (2013), with naive miniature tunes like
To My Friends,
the three-song EP Mom's Day (2013), with the minimal Uncle Lou but also the more developed Dee,
eight-song mini-album I Fell in Love by Accident (2014), with the
more elaborate melodies of
What's Another Lipstick Mark
besides one-minute singalongs like Fiji and Theme Song.
Now renamed Stevie Knipe, s/he recorded in a
regular rock trio
(with guitarist Allegra Eidinger and drummer Olivia Battell)
the six-song EP Sometimes Bad Happens (2014), containing the
rocking Ode To One Night Stands and
new versions of
Finally they released a full-length album,
Momentary Lapse of Happily (2015),
if possible even more rudely autobiographical than the previous recordings.
The whispered Be Your Own 3am and Wake compete for brutal
honesty with the
positively poppy Survival ("I survive because I have died") and
When You Are Happy.
The martial sadness of Sorry I Was Sorry (borderline country) and
Laying On My Floor towers over the other songs, with the dramatic
ballad Sincerely Yours Truly trying in vain to steal the show.
The album also contains
a new version of
What's Another Lipstick Mark.
Second album Soft Spots (2017) contains only nine songs but they
are clearly better arranged, and they span a larger spectrum of styles,
from somnolent Burt Bacharach-esque pop balladry
faceless middle-of-the-road rock (J Station) via
timid folk-rock (Tenderness).
And so the band achieves the upbeat, catchy Full Screen and
toys with the
half-baked atmospheric power-pop of Steal The Lake From The Water
and the quasi dance-pop of Drive Me Home (with multi-tracked vocals and
a touch of synth).
The lugubrious melodrama Same is probably meant as the album's
Driver (Epitaph, 2021) continued the progression towards a mature
mainstream pop-rock sound, yielding
the pulsating and lyrical Breathing (a testament to a much
better vocal delivery) and the robust singalong Frost.
At times it sounds like Knipe could be a worthy disciple of Tom Petty,
but she is easily lured into
the atmospheric languidly country-esque Passenger
and the grandiloquent dance-pop of Sober, and she embarrasses herself with
the noisy and frenzied Adam, which sounds like the exact opposite of
the theorem that she had tried to prove at the beginning.
Nonetheless, her narrative skills have improved as has her voice (Berlin) but they are still used to mimic generations of songwriters who came before her rather than coin an original style.
It's only the words that set her apart.
In July 2021 Knipe announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
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