Tag Archives: Moon King

Our favorite albums of 2015 (part 6)

We’re still doing our countdown of our favorite albums of 2015. It was a sensational year for new releases, so I had to do a bigger list than I normally do, and I also had to list 25 Honorable Mentions. And there were still a ton of records that I liked, but couldn’t find room on the lists.

If you’ve missed it, here are the honorable mentions, and the list so far has looked like this:

50)Lower Dens — Escape From Evil
49)Girl Band — Holding Hands With Jamie
48)Creepoid — Cemetery Highrise Slum
47)Thayer Sarrano — Shaky
46)Rachel Grimes — The Clearing
45)Stolen Jars — Kept
44)Hey Anna — Run Koko
43)Speedy Ortiz — Foil Deer
42)Marriages — Salome
41)Haiku Salut — Etch and Etch Deep
40)The Harrow — Silhouettes
39)Casket Girls — The Piano Album
38)Spectres — Dying
37)Eternal Summers — Gold and Stone
36)Esmerine — Lost Voices
35)Diverting Duo — Desire
34)Viet Cong — Viet Cong
33)astrobrite — Deluxer
32)Noveller — Fantastic Planet
31)Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
30)Long Beard — Sleepwalker
29)Hamsas XIII — Encompass
28)Westkust — Last Forever
27)Hop Along — Painted Shut
26)Lanterns On The Lake — Beings

I’ll keep counting down from 25 to 21 tonight, then take a couple of days off. Remember to click on album art to go to where you can buy the album.

Violent Mae — Kid

25)Violent Mae — Kid
This is the sophomore album by the Roxbury, Connecticut indie rock duo. Fans of Jeff Buckley, Cat Power, Leslie Fiest, and St. Vincent should like this album. This was never really meant to be a band in the first place. When Becky Kessler moved from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to a tiny town in the woods of Connecticut, she asked Floyd Kellogg to help her record a solo album. They hit it off and ended up making a record together in 2013, and now this new one, which came out on November 20.

The Black Ryder — The Door Behind The Door

24)The Black Ryder — The Door Behind The Door
This is the second album by the Los Angeles-based dream pop/shoegaze/folkgaze band. The two main members –Aimée Nash and Scot Van Ryper– are Australian, and they moved to LA sometime between their 2009 debut album and the new one. Although it’s mainly the two of them, they’ve carried some extra members who came from other bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Dum Dum Girls.
This is reminiscent of a lot of stuff that I really love from the early 1990s. Galaxie 500. Mazzy Star. Swallow.
This is another band that I’d never heard of, but whose album that I fell in love with after listening to just a few seconds of one song.

Moon King — Secret Life

23)Moon King — Secret Life
This is the debut album by the Toronto dream pop duo of Maddy Wilde and Daniel Benjamin. In 2013, they released two EPs — Obsession I and Obsession II— which were combined and released as a double EP called Obsession. They spent all of 2014 working on their debut album, and set the bar pretty high for what was expected from them. I don’t think anyone was disappointed when it finally came out on April 14. Fans of Cocteau Twins and Zola Jesus should especially like this album.

The Soft Moon — Deeper

22)The Soft Moon — Deeper
This is the third album by the post-punk/coldwave band that’s fronted by Luis Vasquez. He started the project in Oakland back in 2010. After his 2012 sophomore album, he said he was done with The Soft Moon. He moved to Italy and started spending a lot of time in the bustling Berlin music scene. He came out of “retirement” with this new record in March. It’s darker and colder than the other stuff, and I love it. You may need a flashlight, some climbing gear, and a rain jacket when you listen to this album, but it’s a really rewarding experience.

Trementina — Almost Reach The Sun

21)Trementina — Almost Reach The Sun
This is the debut album by the shoegaze quartet from Valdivia, Chile. Most of the songs on the album were previously released on an EP in 2013, but they’ve re-recorded them and cleaned them up a bit. There are also two completely new songs on the eight song album, so I think this counts as a “new release”.
The band’s name, by the way, is Spanish for “turpentine”, which is pretty awesome. Everyone who listens to them or watches one of their videos immediately says that it reminds them of Ringo Deathstarr, plus some stuff like Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth.

That’s it for today. I’m taking tomorrow and Friday off for the holiday, and I’ll be driving down to spend some time with my parents for a few days. I hope to pick back up on the 26th, but definitely by the 29th.

Happy holidays.

12.15.2014 — “Almost Blue” by Moon King

Moon King

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Almost Blue” by Moon King (2013, from the Obsession II EP).

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.

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