TORONTO — Mother Mother is headed back to the barn for another romp with their TikTok sensation "Hayloft."
Little more than a year after the Vancouver band's unyielding 2008 rock song found renewed life on the social media platform, they've lifted the lid on plans to expand the narrative into a musical opus.
The "Hayloft" song and video tells the story of two young lovers who sneak away to frolic in a barn before one of their fathers appears with a shotgun. Their fate is never clearly sealed in the lyrics.
That song, now renamed "Hayloft I," debuted a fresh music video on Wednesday that lays the groundwork for a revisit of the story. "Hayloft II," set for release later this month, pulls threads from the original's melody and takes them in grander directions.
The new song will come with its own music video that connects the narrative and offers a visual resolution.
Both clips are directed by Emma Higgins, who won music video of the year for Jessie Reyez's "No One’s in the Room" at the 2021 Juno Awards.
Rarely does a 13-year-old song inspire a band to revisit their past with a different take, but lead singer and guitarist Ryan Guldemond said some rules have changed in the age of TikTok.
"Initially, it felt like that would be a blasphemous thing to do," he allowed in a phone interview while on tour in Los Angeles.
"But after sitting with the idea, it felt really exciting ... to take a song that has such a fiction to it, put on a writer's cap and complete the tale."
Inspiration for returning to "Hayloft" took shape last summer as Mother Mother ducked into the recording studio, looking to revisit the "quirkiness, wordiness and tangled arrangements" that defined their earlier work.
"One thing that kept being said metaphorically was, 'Let's write another "Hayloft."' Not meaning literally of course, but just another song that possessed that fire," the songwriter recalled.
"At one point, after repeating this desire far too many times, someone just said, 'Why don't you just write "Hayloft II?"'"
Initially reluctant to jump into a sequel, Guldemond turned to the band's followers on TikTok and Instagram to "present the kernel of the idea" and get their reaction. He said the comments were overwhelmingly positive.
"Not until (the song) was brought to a greater public consciousness did we ever really consider what it meant or if there was more to the story," he said.
"It was only (by) discovering through the lens of this younger, widespread international generation that it had so much more depth than we intended when we wrote it."
"Hayloft II" will debut on the deluxe edition of Mother Mother's 2021 album "Inside," set for release on Jan. 28. The video comes out the same day.
The band is also slated to embark on a 16-date Canadian tour starting late April that runs across Western Canada before hitting various cities in Ontario.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2022.
David Friend, The Canadian Press