Southern California female-fronted four-piece band Move Like Creatures have released their spellbinding debut single/music video for “Mind Reader.” The band, who has defied the odds transcending the loneliness and isolation of lockdown to find each other in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, was inspired to pen the track after an ill-fated therapy session. “Mind Reader” is a rallying cry for anyone who’s ever been misunderstood or misdiagnosed, for anyone who’s ever been told to toughen up or shake it off.
“Lyrically, ‘Mind Reader’ is an expression of frustration with the unhelpful advice you’ll receive from all the armchair (and professional) therapists out there while dealing with mental health issues. It’s also an acknowledgement of the desperation you can feel while searching for an answer,” shares Move Like Creatures. “In contrast, the music celebrates the feeling of satisfaction you get when you look back at your bumpy journey knowing that you’ve grown and surrounded yourself with people who truly see you and love you for you. Our goal is to connect with anyone out there who still feels alone or misunderstood and may be on the verge of giving up hope. We’re excited to get this message out that you’ll always have a welcoming home with our family of creatures.”
Recorded with producer/engineer Ethan Kaufmann (Ryan Cabrera, Avril Lavigne), the collection is deceptively bright, fueled by addictive hooks and an infectious charm that belies the collection’s often-weighty subject matter. Frontwoman Nancy Bombard’s lyrics are raw and vulnerable, grappling openly with loss, insecurity, and mental health, and her bandmates—drummer Melissa Koziel, bassist Brian Bello, and guitarist Ryan Reynolds—deliver similarly confident, captivating performances, mixing pop sheen and rock and roll grit with immersive electronic flourishes and streaks of punk defiance. The result is a sound that’s at once intimate and anthemic, a bold, bittersweet debut that hints at everything from Hayley Williams and Liz Phair to Gwen Stefani and Olivia Rodrigo as it reminds us that no matter how dark or desperate things may seem, we’re never truly alone in this world.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced depression for the first time, struggling with how to manage those feelings without the usual distractions. It should come as little surprise that mental health is such a priority for the band: Bombard holds a degree in psychology, and Bello is actually a practicing psychiatrist, citing the band as the perfect intersection of making music and making meaningful connections. It was that desire for meaningful connection that brought Move Like Creatures together in the first place. Hungry to return to the studio and the road after the dissolution of her last band, Bombard (who’d opened for the likes of 311, Slightly Stoopid, Sublime with Rome, and Rebelution in previous projects) took her search for like-minded artists to Craigslist in the early days of the pandemic. With so much of the world shut down, she wasn’t sure who—if anyone—would respond, but something told her she needed to give it a shot. “Within a day and a half, I’d heard from Ryan,” recalls Bombard, “and I was so excited about the prospect of collaborating with people again that I didn’t even stop to think that it might be dangerous to invite a stranger from the internet over to my house. I ended up hiding a knife under the couch cushion the first time we got together just to be safe.” Fortunately for both of them, Bombard and Reynolds clicked instantly, and with the subsequent addition of Koziel and Bello to the lineup, it soon became apparent to all involved that they were on to something truly special. It was those instincts, after all, that brought Bombard and her bandmates together. “I feel like the four of us are just these misfits with all these different traumas and struggles and creatures living inside of us, which is where the band’s name comes from,” she explains. “We’ve all been dragged through the mud at some point and gotten back up, but that just makes us value each other even more.” It’s what makes them family.
With more music on the way, you’ll start to feel like part of the family, too.