As they declare on their website, "Single Mothers broke up in 2009 -- and have been playing shows ever since." Based in London, Ontario, Single Mothers play a rousing and street-smart variety of punk rock with ranting vocals laid over the top, and as their self-description suggests, the band's rise to prominence on the Canadian punk scene has come with some unpredictable left turns.
Single Mothers first unleashed their taut, turn-on-a-dime musical assault with a handful of independent singles before releasing their unrelenting debut album, Negative Qualities, in 2014. On their subsequent recordings, their sound didn't change so much as it was sharpened and refined, particularly on 2018's Through a Wall, with the articulate rage of their lyrics remaining a constant.
Vocalist Drew Thomson has been the sole constant member of Single Mothers since they began playing out, though by 2010, the group had a consistent core lineup with Thomson joined by guitarist Michael Peterson and bassist Evan Redsky, along with a rotating series of drummers. Single Mothers developed a reputation as a powerful live act, and in 2010 they released a three-song EP called Wild Party. In 2011, the group's profile got a boost with their second EP, a four-song release simply titled Single Mothers, which gained alternative radio and YouTube play for the tunes "Christian Girls" and "Hell (Is My Backup Plan)." However, music wasn't all that was happening in Thomson's life, and in 2011 he quit the group on the advice of his father. As Thomson told journalist Ian Cohen, "My dad tricked me -- he knew I was drinking too much and hanging with the wrong people in London, and he was like, 'You should go up with your aunt and uncle, who are prospectors, and make a bunch of money.'" Thomson moved to a town with the unlikely name of Swastika, Ontario, and did well as a gold prospector, earning as much as $1,500 a day, but in his spare time he continued to write songs, and Jeremy Bolm of the band Touche Amore was impressed enough with his work that he released a pair of solo singles by Thomson on his Secret Voice label.
In 2013, Thomson opted to re-form Single Mothers, with drummer Brandon Jagersky joining Thomson, Peterson, and Redsky, and another well-known fan of the group, Joby J. Ford of the Bronx, offered to produce the sessions for their first full-length album. HXC, an offshoot of XL Recordings, picked up the American release of the album, and Negative Qualities arrived in the fall of 2014, followed by extensive touring in North America. That lineup of the band broke up after getting off the road, but Thomson and Jagersky assembled yet another edition of Single Mothers with guitarist Justis Krar and bassist Ross Miller. This version of the group cut its second full-length album, Our Pleasure, which was released in June 2017 by Dine Alone Records. When not busy with the band's recording and touring commitments, Thomson still prospects for gold in Swastika. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi