Best of 2020: Mamalarky Talks Ginger Root’s New Album (and His TikTok)

Frontwoman Livvy Bennett loved Rikki by the “aggressive elevator soul” artist this year.

Ginger Root is a West Coast-based artist who we’d been able to tour with once pre-pandemic.  I’ve known about his music for a few years. He recorded a bunch of cassette albums in his car all by himself, and I think that’s how I first discovered his music. I was like, Wow, how does this person do this? He has a very specific tagline for it: “aggressive elevator soul.” If you listen to it, you’ll definitely hear that come through. 

We were just kind of in the same general circle of playing shows in the LA area when we lived there. I was on a tour with another band — we were already pals at this point — and he texted me like, “Hey, do you wanna go on a tour with us after this other tour you’re on?” And I was like, “Yes, I do.” That’s when we got really close, but we vaguely knew each other before then. 

The reason why I was really like, Alright, this is a one-of-a-kind artist, I have to talk about him, is that he’s just completely self-driven, and I feel like he’s kind of unique in that he’s able to produce a lot of different things. He works in, I believe, editing in the film industry, so his music videos are very often self-directed, self-produced, self-edited. 

He just put out an album called Rikki on October 23, and it’s amazing. Again, he recorded it all himself, he recorded all the parts. He does have bandmates, named Matt [Carney] and Dylan [Hovis], but he records all the parts himself in his bedroom. That’s really inspiring and really cool, and I feel like it’s especially really cool now that bands are having to be their own little powerhouses and operate entirely on their own. He’s just a prime example of that, and somehow manages to be a complete sweetheart. 

I think it’s particularly 2020 in that he is completely able to be an artist on his own volition with the tools that he has, and with this multitude of skill sets that he’s built up over the years. It’s really inspiring. And it’s not just skill — it’s drive, motivation. He’s just been killing the game and really staying on the grind despite the obvious difficulties we’re all going through. A few standouts on the album: “Out of State” is a really good song, “Karaoke” is a really good song, and “Nominated” I would also recommend.

Another thing that I’ve really been enjoying that he’s only started doing since quarantine is TikTok — his TikToks are chef’s kiss, they are so good. They’re just jams that he’s doing, playing all the instruments and coming up with these little ideas, but they’re really well done. 

@gingerrootmusicHow I feel when the water hits. (Also looking for a Hydroflask™ sponsorship, hmu) #water #gingerroot #music #hydroflask #op1 #nintendo #thirsty

♬ オリジナル楽曲 – Ginger Root

Everything he produces is just him, like you really can just connect with him. And beyond that, he’s the nicest person — he’s so sweet, so kind, and when we did get to play shows together, it was always just a really fun experience. 

Ginger Roots’s Rikki is available now, as is Mamalarky’s self-titled album

As told to Annie Fell.

Mamalarky is down to water your houseplants while you’re out of town and plot an elaborate revenge on your high school bully. Mamalarky could very well be the cure for depression or the cause of all universal sadness. Mamalarky is a campfire song for American Idol rejects and a somber soundtrack for the months leading up to your next breakup. They are exactly what you would expect to see in an increasingly sentient robot’s dream journal.

Mamalarky started in Austin, TX and now resides in Atlanta, GA. The band combines doe-eyed vocal melodies, cerebral keys, dynamic finger-picked guitar, ebullient bass lines, and hard hitting drums to create an intoxicating elixir, entirely their own.

Their self-titled debut album Mamalarky is out November 2020 via Fire Talk Records.