Moon Panda – Sing Spaceship, Sing
Chill-pop duo Moon Panda, comprised of vocalist Maddy Myers and guitarist Gustav Moltke, are back with their sophomore album Sing Spaceship, Sing – a collection of mellow, luminous tones and a bright dose of summer-ready dream-pop.
The album begins with Come Outside: a shimmery opener with wah-wah-tinged guitar runs, twinkly synths and ethereal vocals. Myers’s transcendent, almost spoken-word, vocals swing between jagged verses and breezy, saccharine choruses that ascend amidst the digitised soundscape. Tangerine Light is a buzzier entry, with scattered guitar, tick-tacky percussion and glittery rhythms, while Myers’s wispy voice takes on a busier, more energetic chorus.
Current is a tight, meticulously constructed entry with jangly guitar and echo chamber vocals, and the album’s best hook of “Thought that I was better off, all the things I didn’t know/But I really want to feel the world turn”. At times, however, it does feel as if Moon Panda are going through the motions – the pieces all work and fit tightly together, and the production is immaculate, but the mid-tempo rhythms and airy melodies begin to run the risk of becoming all too one-note, and tracks like Feel This Sway struggle to stand out.
For the album’s closer, Dance, Moon Panda opt to pull back on the shimmery synths that define the rest of Sing Spaceship, Sing – it’s stripped back, its lyrics more engaging, and its instrumental more heartfelt. Moltke’s guitar work takes centre stage but is economical, weaving amongst lighter, arpeggiating synths and woozy, emotionally-charged lyrical lines. Even Myers voice stands out in the sparer setting, and the usual wispy edges are subbed out for richer tones as she sings: “Tell me where it is you wanna go, when I’m asking you to be here” – it’s quietly spectacular, and leaves you wishing that more of the album was as nimble and effortless as the final entry.
Despite this, there’s real spark in tracks like Come Outside and Current, with strong hooks, groovy baselines and floaty synth runs. Moon Panda with Sing Spaceship, Sing aim to gently lift us into orbit, but on this occasion, we haven’t quite broken Earth’s atmosphere.
Sing Spaceship, Sing is released on 21st July 2023. For further information or to order the album visit Moon Panda’s website here.
Watch the video for the single SummerBrain here: