Soft Moon is a post-punk/goth/new wave band from San Francisco. Actually, they categorize themselves as “post-apocalyptic”. Anyway, they’ve released one album, a few singles, and an EP. They have a new album which they’ve just finished recording. I guess it’ll be out late this year or early next year.
I only learned about The Soft Moon last week, via the ole trusty mailbag. I guess, then, you could say that I’m dipping into the mailbag for this one. Carol from White Blush dropped us a line to suggest these guys, and specifically today’s song. I’d never heard of them, but I played the video that she suggested, and I immediately knew that it was for me. A tiny bit of research, and I discovered that they’re on Captured Tracks Records. You already know that label as the people who re-issued the brilliant Medicine album Shot Forth Self Living, and you know them as the home of dream-pop bands Blouse, Wild Nothing, Widowspeak, and many others. I already liked what I heard in the clip that Carol sent me. The fact that they’re on a cool label was just a bonus.
I immediately bought a digital copy of The Soft Moon, and listened to the whole thing a couple of times in a row. I decided then that they would be my next “mailbag” feature.
I know almost nothing about the band. They’re a five-piece, headed up by multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez. He has a background in punk rock, and started The Soft Moon as a multimedia side project. To that end, one of the band members has the sole duty of “visuals”. I guess this means the projection of images and motion pictures and whatnot. I have no idea.
Listening to this album, it’s hard to imagine that the band wasn’t heavily influenced by the most gothic of The Cure’s albums — Pornography (1982) and Disintegration (1989).
Have a listen for yourself:
“When It’s Over” by The Soft Moon
I like to imagine a big empty warehouse with thick red fog billowing out of the roll-up doors as this song is played from the middle of it. It’s dark and sweaty and beery. I don’t know why I imagine that, but that’s just what I imagine.
The bass line is subtly amazing. Listen to the song, then listen again. It’s a slow, sweet burn that’ll leave you aching for more.
There are lyrics in this song, but they’re really heavily affected and they’re buried behind the buzzy guitars and the bass. It’s impossible to discern what they are. I heard a silly rumor that this is a really creative interpretation of the Sugar Ray song of the same name. Because the lyrics are so obscured, and because I bought a digital copy (no liner notes/ songwriting credits) rather than physical copy, I can’t positively deny this. However, I don’t see how that could possibly be true.
There’s a bit of a chainsaw buzz on the guitar that, coupled with the other effects, makes me think of the wonderful dream-pop band Swallow. There I go again with the reference to Swallow. And still more than a month before my scheduled post about them. Just be patient with me.
When you play this song, play it loud. That’s how it was designed to be played.
I highly recommend getting The Soft Moon directly from the Captured Tracks web store. Get the album in your choice of formats here. Glove tap to Carol Rhyu of White Blush for the suggestion.