Moon Over Mountain 2020
Bubbling and brazen but nuanced, American’s band’s second effort welcomes fellow travelers to the other side of midnight.
There was something amateurishly indecisive about where to go with their reveries on this duo’s debut record, yet while "Color Of Life" flowed past the listener as an aural slide show, its follow-up offers a quantum leap into urban beauty that is the little ensemble’s natural habitat. Enchanting and immersive in equal measure, “Champagne And Brass” can be easily turned into a movie, although such liberty would cost the album a lot of charm and many a magic moment. Half-hints, leaving most things unsaid, and elusive details, enriching the context, work wonders without visuals – all sort of wonders.
Despite the epic “Colorado Dreaming” placing spiritual lines in a throbbing soundscape but remaining rather static, dark streets are the space which “The Man Who Spoke 10,000 Truths” occupies: it reveals the Denver artists’ deliberately uneven, if tuneful, experimentation that will go way beyond new age – and beyond the flawed pop-folk of “Evening Falls” as well. There’s gripping sadness to the quasi-operatic “Alone In The City” yet, marrying solemnity to motorik groove to evoke nocturnal atmosphere, the platter’s title track takes acoustic guitar for a night-on-the-town where Kenneth Lee Roberts’s synthesizers stage a Renaissance-esque romantic defiance for Megan Buness’ velvet vocals to probe stereo swirl of “First Snowfall” and let translucent electronica reign supreme, albeit languidly.
That’s what shifts the moods in “Have Our Dreams Come To This?” – the instrumental drama bringing a certain Philip K. Dick novel to dance-addled mind – before “Close To My Heart” unfolds a brief oratorio and sends an orchestral echo further, to “Welcome To Life” with its celestial vibes. Still, the minimalist disco-drive and tribal chants of “AOC” come totally unexpected, shedding a different light on the duo’s approach to arrangement. Their development has been rapid as a reverie – only, unlike a dream, MOM’s music is here to stay.