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Moonface: Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped



Album: Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped
Label: Jagjaguwar

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Halfway through “Loose Heart = Loose Plan,” the final track on Moonface’s debut Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped, the singer asks, “You wanna sing like me?” Actually, no one else sings like Moonface’s leader, the prolific Spencer Krug. His hypersensitive voice is strangled and cramped, the midpoint of a warble and a bleat that’s instantly recognizable in his work with half a dozen bands, most famously Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown. Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped not only bears Krug’s distinctive voice, but almost all of the traits that have come to define his output. It is an intriguing if occasionally slight recapitulation of Krug’s chief strengths.

The songs on Organ Music are seven- and eight-minute escapades that turn and tumble a particular topic over and over again, with drum machines pattering beneath stacks of keyboards and loops. The lyrics are the sort of elliptical tangents that demand to be pealed back line by line. “Fast Peter” is more than a look at a friend who’s trying to learn how to love; it’s a suggestion that technology has exacerbated our grass-is-greener mentality, turning escapism into an international affair. “Whale Song (Song Instead Of A Kiss)” traces similar lines, with Krug offering a reexamination of the artiste as someone who’s afraid to act on or articulate feelings. Instead, they spout images and ellipses, feigning meaning to avoid truth. The truths on Organ Music are captivating enough; it’s just too bad there aren’t more of them.