04.15.2015 — “Black” by The Soft Moon

Luis Vasquez (The Soft Moon)

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Black” by The Soft Moon (2015, from the album Deeper).

The Soft Moon is a post-punk band who now calls Venice, Italy home. Multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez started The Soft Moon as a solo recording project in Oakland a few years ago, and never really meant for it to be a thing. After recording a bunch of songs, he got together with some guys and in 2010, they released a self-titled debut record that turned lots of heads. Then an EP, and a second LP in 2012. With that album — Zeros— Vasquez said that he’d be done with The Soft Moon. Since then, he moved from the Bay Area to Italy, and spent a lot of time traveling to Berlin. Thankfully, he’s come out with a magnificent third album this year. Deeper, which was released by Captured Tracks on March 31, has been called the “most ambitious”. It’s certainly the darkest and doomiest.

In the early days of this blog, a reader tipped me off about the debut album, which I fell in love with immediately. I wrote a feature about the fantastic song “When It’s Over”, which you can revisit here. I liked the second album, but not as much as The Soft Moon. When the new album came out, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve been listening to A LOT of new and unfamiliar things lately, so it took me a little while to finally get around to the new record. I was completely blown away by it the first time I listened to it through my new in-ear monitors.

In the album opening song “Inward”, there’s this really weird melty synthesizer buzz that travels back and forth across the stereo field. It’s really disorienting and a little scary, actually. It’s only 40 seconds long, and it really serves as an intro to today’s song, but it’s magnificent. Disorienting and creepy, but magnificent. That same melty buzz shows up a couple of times in today’s song, which is appropriately titled “Black”. This is that song:

“Black” by The Soft Moon

Indeed. This is dark. Very dark. And cold.

Vasquez gets straight to the point with the lyrics, too.

I don’t care what you say, you say
Living life my own way, own way

It’s right around the 2:12 mark where that low, melty buzz creeps into this song. Because of the other sounds, it’s not quite as disorienting as it is in that other song, but it’s the exact same thing.

I imagine this song being performed live with absolutely no stage lighting. Pitch black. And louder than loud. I said virtually the same thing in my previous write-up about The Soft Moon. This is even darker than that. You should play this loud over speakers, but you should also take the time to listen to this song through a good set of headphones or a good set of in-ear monitors. It’s a weird head space to be in.

I listened to the album three times in a row this morning and twice again this afternoon. It’s a lot of darkness. Probably more darkness than I need, but I kind of love it.

You can buy Deeper in your choice of cassette/CD/LP from Captured Tracks here, or digitally from your favorite legal downloading place. Just buy this record. You won’t be sorry.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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