Lo Moon – A Modern Life
After their striking self-titled debut album in 2018, California band Lo Moon’s A Modern Life takes a new direction, from joyful exuberance to a more sombre, introspective tone. Ingeniously combining capacious soundscapes with reflective lyrics, the work is about existential struggle – finding meaning and hope in a confusing world.
The record’s state-of-the-art pop sound merges vibrant guitars, innovative harmonies, intriguing chorus and lead guitarist/singer Matt Lowell’s exceptional vocals. He is accompanied by outstanding musicians Sam Stewart on guitars, Cristana Baker on bass, keyboard and samples, and Sterlin Laws on drums.
Spacey, slightly discordant, short opener Intro kicks off with a captivating celestial awakening. Carried Away, which follows, brings uplifting, diaphanous guitar and drumbeats rising with Lowell’s beautiful falsetto, then a multi-instrumental tone that becomes ecstatic.
Romantic, nostalgic Dream Never Dies ponders summer days of youth. With an elegant piano opening juxtaposed by a quasi-military rhythmic beat and gentle song, the piece escalates to soaring passion: “What happened to all the easy days of summer?”
Expectations is energetic from the start; a more sombre melody speaks of mourning teenage ambitions. The new-age, mysterious Deficit of Wonder comes after – a brief but delicately rich track.
The smooth 80s/90s timbre of the title song is comprised of an electro mix, followed by driving, sensual percussion, like a pounding heart. It’s about finding meaning and being alone: “I get the feeling everybody’s leaving… Give me something to believe in”. Conjuring an image of solitude on an alien planet, the surreal ambient-pop Raincoats is a superb mosaic of stunning vocals, lyrics and music. With hymnal echoes, the piece slowly rises to a fervid rock tempo: “Listen to my heartbeat”.
Digging up the Dead suggests a hint of a French New Wave and neo-Country Western twang, accompanied by a faint, angelic background chorus. Unusual tones and Lowell’s wistful falsetto speak of being unable to let go of lost love. Graceful, pensive and rapturous with a powerful beat and sublime chorus, Eyes on the Prize asserts, “I’d rather be dead than live with no passion”. Stop is a hopeful finale after melancholic retrospection. With a lush, otherworldly chorus and an Alternative vibe, sadness at first transforms into euphoric aspiration and buoyancy.
Lo Moon’s A Modern Life is honest, impassioned and deeply human. With sensitive and exquisite composition and arrangement, the music is inspirational – a pleasure to listen to.
A Modern Life is released on 25th February 2022. For further information or to order the album visit Lo Moon’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Dream Never Dies here: