Moon King is the Toronto dream pop duo of Daniel Benjamin and Maddy Wilde. Last year, they released two very good EPs via One Big Silence Records, which is run by the guy from Fucked Up. The two EPs — Obsession I and Obsession II were combined and re-released as a double EP Obsession later in 2013 by Tough Love Records. They have a debut album in the works for a 2015 release. Last week, the band announced that they had been signed to the Toronto label Last Gang Records and that they would go on a “world tour” with This is That Song favorite Alvvays. By the way, if you don’t have that Alvvays record on your 2014 year-end list, then you’re doing it wrong.
I got something in the mail bag about the signing to Last Gang, and although it took me a while to get around to it, I fell in love with tonight’s song right away.
A lot of things can be said about Moon King, but what you’ll always see in other write-ups about them is that they’re massively influenced by Cocteau Twins. Their other songs might also sound like other things — there’s one that reminds me of Darling Buds. On tonight’s song, though, there’s definitely a big fingerprint left by that whole late 80s/early 90s 4AD Records sound. Maybe even earlier Cocteaus than that. I’m thinking maybe Head Over Heels (1983). Wilde’s voice isn’t Liz Fraser-esque or anything like that, but there’s just a big Cocteaus feel from all of it. There’s a nice mix of electronic sounds and live instruments. Effects loops and delayed vocals. It’s all covered in a dense pink and orange fog.
This is that song:
“Almost Blue” by Moon King
I love the thick drum sequence, the tape loops and the doubled/delayed vocal. I have to think that some of the drums are live and some from a machine, and I’m pretty sure that when they perform, they use a live drummer. As far as I can tell, Maddy does the lead vocals and guitar bits while Daniel does everything else with a midi controller. However they do it, they’re doing it very well on this song.
You can buy the Obsession double EP on one piece of 12″ vinyl for about $20 USD from Tough Love here. No details yet about the forthcoming 2015 album, but those details should be emerging very soon.
For a little bit of extra credit, here’s a video for the song. It’s a bit 4ADish. And there’s a cat.