Moon Duo is a group formed in 2009 and comprises of San Francisco-based guitarist Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) and keyboardist Sanae Yamada. The result of this fortuitous combination is a heady mix of swirling psychedelic space rock. Interestingly Moon Duo’s members are married. Perhaps this chemistry is what makes the sound so rich and consistent.
This post is in part a gift to my father on his birthday. I won’t tell you how old he is as this would breach parent doctor confidentiality. So thank you father, for introducing me to this wonderful album. I trust this review is to your standards. And happy birthday.
While Stars Are the Light is completely different than other Moon Duo albums, it is by no means a disappointment. It is a very groovy record, full of disco and funk beats. It was also brought to life with the help of Sonic Boom, a former member of Spaceman 3, who has also worked with Beach House. Any fan of Moon Duo or psych-rock will not be let down by Stars Are the Light. Glide
Moon Duo is split into eight tracks. The first of which is Flying. The bossanova beats and funky grooves throughout mark the opening track as quite singular in the Moon Duo cannon. Its driving bass marks the generally impressive consistency of all the tracks in this album.
The titular track follows which, for me, demonstrates the lighter more airy side of Moon Duo without compromising on the integrity or quality of the central sound. The sound is refined, positive and consuming. It envelops the listener, in part thanks to the wonderful synth stylings of Yamada.
By using splashes of guitar as punctuation points, synth work is pushed to the forefront, this works wonders on “The World And The Sun” which takes a funky but meandering electronic track which goes nowhere, albeit pleasantly until washes of atmospheric synth work elevates the track into glorious synthesised euphoria. Even better, “Lost Heads” has the duo’s vocals intertwining sweetly over the monotonous structure of electronica and nagging keyboard riffs, the otherworldy nature is akin to being awake in a dream. The Line of Best Fit
Eternal Shore is delightful and upbeat. The guitar work, as seen in Wooden Shjips, is wonderful and complex. Once again the drive in this track is consistent with the rest of those in this album.
Finally, Fever Night is a suitably grand ending to this album. It encapsulates the enveloping sound of Moon Duo and is a track very much in line with the musical aesthetic of the band.
My final three reflections on this album are as follows:
- Stars Are the Light provides a precise, enveloping synth sound
- Moon Duo have provided a wonderfully idiosyncratic album
- This album is a big concept with excellent execution
Overall I remain impressed by this album and listen to it often, especially when I have to concentrate on complex legal texts. I hope you do too, though I hope you do not have to be subject to legal analysis while listening to any music.