The Kiwi’s just keep on killing it. Over the past few weeks we’ve been pawning over a whole bunch of killer NZ bands, but sometimes we can overlook things. And man, I don’t know how we overlooked Moses. Hailing from Wellington, the band delve into the more relaxed side of psychedelia, which is something entirely refreshing. Their debut EP is a soothing collection of warping, modulated textures, softly strummed rhythms and sunny melodies, and we’re stoked to be able to premiere it today on Happy.
Moses are one more to add to our list of high pedigree Kiwi bands blending incredible guitar textures with droning sax, sunny melodies and laid back rhythms. Sink into their debut self-titled EP.
The most striking thing about Moses from the get go are the guitars. Often warm and twangy, but also spacious and watery, they carry the EP through a dark tunnel, but always towards a beam of bright light. They have this sort of euphoria, a sense of hope, which is incredibly beautiful. Opium opens the three track EP with a fittingly druggy sway.
The Jesus and Mary Chain come to mind first, taking parts from all of their albums: the laid back acoustic strum of Stoned and Dethroned to the dark baritone of Psychocandy. The vocals drawl as though they have been stewing in whisky for weeks, reinforcing the Reid brothers’ influence. Drums and guitars echo off into the distance. It’s all very 70s, with the band stating brilliantly in their limited bio that their music can be described as: “Easy listening, but not like the fucking Eagles.”
Interestingly the saxophone features quite prominently throughout the EP. Droning it’s way though Opium and reappearing in Because You Never Know, the sax is never overpowering, but it looms beneath the swirling instrumentation, adding a layer of melody that weaves it’s way between the sunny vocals melodies. The synth-like guitars are never far away, ducking and weaving with echo and lush watery textures. Because You Never Know feels a bit like something from the first Real Estate record, laid back and a little bit lo-fi, with bright guitars and chilled rhythms, but this feels a little denser, darker and more thought out.
Mourn is appropriately titled, a slow and yearning track. The guitars reach a new height of spaciness; cavernous and sparkling, they cry out as much as the vocals do. Where the guitars are drenched in reverb, the vocals feel warm and close, softly harmonised and sunny. Clocking in at seven minutes, Mourn is a triumphant piece of spaced out psychedelia, reminiscent of the epic finale of Dark Side Of The Moon with its crooning sax and drawn out instrumentation. The bass glides along with pompous melody and the guitars soon become psychotic, descending into whacked-out tangents as the song slowly fades to nothing but wailing feedback.