At a time where alternative and indie acts are in abundance, Los Angeles trio Lo Moon are one who attempt to stand out from the others with their dreamy, cinematic 80s pop vibes. Blending the artistry of a variety of influential predecessors and at times America’s answer to the likes of Oh Wonder and London Grammar (the latter with whom they toured last year as a support act), it’s not surprising that this expressive and eloquent group have crept onto the indie scene amidst the release of their eponymous debut.
The record’s percussive backdrop opening on ‘This Is It’ appears to follow in the footsteps on The xx and Tears for Fears thanks to its vocally driven melody. The sparse synth scales sparkle throughout and intrigue the listener from the off on this brooding, layered number. ‘Loveless’ follows up well; a seven-minute piece signifying the album’s longest track so soon in its tracklist and its most well-known piece following its 2016 release which first piqued the interest of Lo Moon fans. Following the hazy, lo-fi shoegaze example of Cigarettes After Sex, the single plays with a more RnB tempo which shows another dynamic of the group.
The sparse synth scales sparkle throughout and intrigue the listener
More guitars drift in for ‘The Right Thing’, before ‘Thorns’ steps in and shows off vocalist Matt Lowell’s rhythmic Talk Talk inspiration. It certainly stamps its mark as a record as atmospheric as Coldplay’s 2014 break-up record Ghost Stories. ‘Tried to Make You My Own’ comes in halfway through the record, which instrumentally could sit alongside the cache of Electronic’s tracks. It certainly boasts the wistful sentiment with its reflective lyrics which enigmatically appear to see Lowell blaming himself for a failed relationship, with admissions such as “I know I never had a heart of gold”.
‘My Money’ opens instrumentally not far from a lost track off the Stranger Things soundtracks, officially filing the group under the cinematic genre and cementing the record as one which plays as though it should be kept for midnight drives around cities. Luscious bass notes open ‘Real Love’, one of the group’s most well-known singles, which soars midway into a burst of guitar-led passionate energy. It boasts the cinematic sonic the group have mastered until this point but sees an attempt at something lighter.
The album draws nicely to its concluding tracks through ‘Camouflage’ and ‘Wonderful Life’, with the first fuelled with anguish over a relationship which has ended but is refused to be acknowledge by either side – “why don’t we call this what we know it is?”. Penultimate ‘Wonderful Life’ hints at something optimistic with its title and could be missed out as an unsung hero of the album with its infectiously rhythmic opening, which continues to serve as the backbone of the song on one of the album’s more dance-powered numbers. ‘All In’ wraps Lo Moon up neatly with its inclusive name evident at portraying a track which includes a little bit of everything on the debut effort.
It’s a record certainly worth listening to for fans of London Grammar and co. and will most likely be appreciated for its subtlety and how smoothly it plays out, but don’t let it drift away unnoticed – blink and you’ll miss it.