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Meet Mama's Boy, a pandemic-born family band

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, what does a family do when they have to quarantine together?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHISTLING BIRD")

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) Tell me something I haven't heard. When you're stuck in the house, there's really nothing else but the sound of the whistling birds, but the sound of the whistling birds.

MARTIN: They start a garage band, of course. At least, that's what this family did. Ryan Stokes, along with his mom and dad, Andrea and Lyndon (ph) Stokes, made the most of their time at home and formed the band Mommas Boy (ph).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHISTLING BIRD")

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) When you're lying on the grass, they'll think of you less when the stars above (inaudible) down, when the stars above (inaudible) down.

MARTIN: The family of three was back under the same roof on the north island of New Zealand during the COVID lockdown. Ryan attended college classes online while his mom and dad worked remotely.

RYAN STOKES: I had school. And we'd never done any form of online learning beforehand, so suddenly having to go from that to watching a Zoom call every day, I just found so draining. And at the end of the day, to be able to just get on the guitar, mom get on the drums, dad get on the bass and just rock out for an hour was such a good stress reliever.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) You've been lost for many years, I said...

MARTIN: Ryan's parents had never played in a band before or even picked up the instruments they've now come to love.

R STOKES: I kind of just had this drum kit that I decided would be a good idea to buy going into the lockdown, thinking I could start a band. But I didn't really - it didn't click to me that no one could come over in order to play instruments and actually start a band. So my only option was internal recruitment.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

R STOKES: I had to go into the kitchen. I saw mom dancing to something. I noticed she had this incredible sense of rhythm, and I thought she would be an incredible drummer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S ALL RIGHT")

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) Staying inside, and it's quite all right. Staying inside, and it's quite all right.

ANDREA STOKES: Staring at two screens for eight hours, and we would just drop everything at 4:00 and go, right, let's go in - and smashing away on the drums. It was such a good feeling.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

A STOKES: I also remember walking in when Ryan was starting that. I was walking into his room, and I went, oh, that's got a really cool beat. And I think it might have been - and you can correct me, Ryan - but it was just like, hey, mom, put a beat to this. And I think that's pretty much what I did. I just put a beat to it. And you said, yep, sounds cool, like that.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

LYNDON STOKES: The bass, to me, is just made for me. It's just - the spacings and the nice big soft strings. And I just never realized it was there waiting for me to - as the near-perfect instrument, actually.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) I always thought I'd find the easy way out. I never thought I'd feel my heart beat so loud.

MARTIN: The garage band - OK, living room band - released a few singles before launching their debut album, titled "Who Would Have Thought," in April, featuring their song, "Dark Doorway."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK DOORWAY")

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) I don't think that I am wrong, but I don't think I am right. I don't care if I catch a cold in the midst of the (inaudible) night.

R STOKES: The dark doorway to me is kind of this like little rut that you kind of find yourself in before you transition to like another stage of your life. Like, you're going from one room to the other. And, like, the dark doorway's kind of like this little midpoint where you're not sure if things are going to go right or you're like a little bit down or a little bit scared. And pretty much it's saying, you can't live your life in the dark doorway. You've got to keep progressing forward into the next room.

MARTIN: Thousands of fans have viewed and liked their music videos on TikTok, where Mommas Boy provides a front-row seat to the show. Sometimes mom takes over Mommas Boy and the commenters online notice.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) I saw you standing in the corner on the edge of a burning light. I saw you standing in the corner. Come see me again in the cold, cold night.

A STOKES: I must say, people have just been so kind in their comments. And then you get these ones, and it's just - I'm just doubled over laughing half the time. You know, oh, your mom's fantastic or, is your mom married? And Ryan's going, well, yeah, because dad's in the band. Can you not see that? (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF MOMMAS BOY SONG)

MOMMAS BOY: (Singing) Come see me again in the cold, cold night.

MARTIN: That was mom Andrea Stokes, along with her husband, Lyndon Stokes, and their son, Ryan Stokes. And they are Mommas Boy. Their new single, "It's All Right," is out now. And you can find them on TikTok at mommas-boy-official. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.