Release Date: 27th September 2019
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Formats: CD, DL
An album where, for once, you can judge the book by the cover.
Bright and colourful images of space creatures grooving (I want to paraphrase Pink Floyd’s ‘with a pict’ from Ummagumma which kind of matches the vibe) but more likely in an interplanetary disco to some dead groovy sounds.
Not having had an encounter (close, first or second kind) with Moon Duo across their six album travelogue, the word is that Stars Are The Light finds them expanding their boundaries, taking them on a trip into significantly new territory. “We have changed, the nature of our collaboration has changed and the world has changed,” says Sanae Yamada. There’s no doubting the latter aspect as she adds, “we wanted the new music to reflect that.” Like Queen used to proudly boast on their early albums, ‘no synthesisers’ and all the better for them (they came later with a vengeance), there’s a distinct absence of the Moon Duo traditional guitar drive psych-rock. Instead, the guitar becomes as one with the overall sweeps of synth, the bleeps and the throbs of the dance-orientated direction.
How does it sound then? There are a few names that sprang to my mind as I chilled out and swung my pants to the cosmic discotheque sounds (“something we hadn’t referenced in our music before” ) emerging from Stars Are The Light. For a start as he’s been on my radar recently, Steve Hillage’s psychedelic outpourings rose to the surface and Eye 2 Eye recalls Simple Minds’ Love Song whilst emerging as the top song on the record. Along with the liquid languidness of Fever Night (get it?) it provides the contrast to some of the more light and sparkling numbers.
It’s hard not to become seduced by songs about love, change, misunderstanding, internal struggle, joy, misery, alienation, discord, harmony, celebration or to embrace the inspiration of disco combined with the spiritual aspect of space and self-expression. One where you can get lost and indulge in rejoicing within the cosmic community or even out of body. Very much an experience to dig. A feeling of elation and goodwill that’s almost like a retune to the love and peace of the hippy ideology with a splash of cos-mic radiance.
Watch the video for Stars Are The Light:
Moon Duo online: