Skylar Gudasz releases ‘Mother’s Daughter’ single: ‘It’s one of my favorite songs that she’s written’
Published 10:04 am Sunday, May 14, 2023
Singer and songwriter Skylar Gudasz released “Mother’s Daughter” this week in part as a tribute to her own mother, Sally Andrews Gudas of Southern Shores.
Thoughtfully timed for release on Mother’s Day week, the song is rich yet playful, with Skylar sharing bits of wisdom and sayings gathered from her mother [absence makes the heart grow, yes / fonder of someone else], grandmother [throw a little salt over your shoulder], and other loved ones.
“It’s about the voices of wisdom inside of you that encourage you and spur you on,” the Durham-based performer said. “Our relationship to the earth too, mother earth. All those natural wonderful things.”
“Mother’s Daughter” is a single in Gudasz’s soon-to-be-named third album that she’s currently working on. In 2016, she debuted with the full-length album Oleander, followed by Cinema in 2020.
But she’s been singing long before that. Much longer.
“The first words I ever spoke I was singing,” Skylar said. “I’ve been singing my whole life.”
“She loves words,” her mother added. “She’s always loved to write short stories, and that’s what she still does in her lyrics.”
Like many music artists during the pandemic, Skylar found herself with canceled shows and an open calendar. She and her brother spent a lot of time with their family in their flat top cottage in Southern Shores listening to their mother share stories from the 1970s when she was on a fishing team called the Queen Mackerels.
“That is heavily connected with my memory of her as a little kid. My brother is more the fisherman than I am,” she admitted, “but I loved hearing them talk, hearing her share all of her expertise. Seeing her in that way, I was like, I’d love to see that on camera.”
The video for her new single features scenes of her mother fishing off the Southern Shores coastline.
Though Sally says she likes to fish (“I don’t catch a lot”), she taught her children how to saltwater fish during their summers spent in North Carolina and how to love the “out of doors.”
“Mother’s Daughter” teases and surprises. The sound is soothing and deep, but a read of the lyrics and a view of the music video adds an element of humor and curiosity to the song.
Skylar hints at a salt imagery throughout – the lyric about throwing salt over your shoulder, a nod to a Morton’s Salt girl, and the salt of the ocean.
“She takes a fair amount of chances in life,” Sally said of her daughter.
During her college years at UNC Chapel Hill studying theater, Skylar spent several summers working at Outer Banks jet ski rental shops, a local surf shop, and even singing in the choir for The Lost Colony, just like her mother did decades before.
Musical talent is generational in the family.
“She taught me how to harmonize,” Skylar recalled.
“One of my favorite things in the world is to sing harmony with my daughter. I used to sing harmony with my mother. To be able to do that with my mother and now my daughter is just wonderful,” Sally said.
Toward the end of the video the camera switches to the daughter’s mother as she drives to the empty stretch of coastline, readies her rod, and casts. This part of the music video was filmed by director of photography and Outer Banks local James Clower. The scene is serene and quiet, a contrast from the vivacious and colorful scenes preceding it.
There’s a solidarity of character that the mother gives to the daughter in that scene. She’s grounded and content – and that’s the legacy the daughter has inherited, freeing her to be a “wild child of the summer.”
Of her mother, Skylar said, “If she gets an idea in her head she just does it. She doesn’t let anyone stop her. She can become superhuman in that way, in making the things she wants to make happen, happen. Not in an authoritarian way but in a really community way. It’s amazing.”
But the song and the video and all the elements that went into it, Sally said “it was totally Skylar.” “She and I have done a lot of different things throughout the years, but it was her vision to have me at the Outer Banks in the video.”
And the mother’s reaction to the daughter’s song?
“It’s one of my favorite songs that she’s written,” Sally said. “It’s just the best gift I could have ever had – having that closeness with my adult daughter. I’m very proud of her.”
Skylar’s tour dates, information and a link to listen to and purchase the single can be found at skylargudasz.bandcamp.com/album/mothers-daughter. View the video for “Mother’s Daughter” at this link or below:
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