There’re a number of things Kiwi band MOSES have got down to a fine art: one is brewing up a distinctive blend of multi-textural ambient-psychedelica you’re not sure how you ever lived without. Another, in case you weren’t hooked enough, is doing that delectable thing of slowly dripping out tracks.
Much in the same style that they filtered out their debut EP, MOSES1, they pre-empted this latest five-track EP, MOSESII, by releasing lead track Keep Your Heart Beating with an accompanying video last November, followed by No More Shall You Call earlier this year. And we’ve been eagerly awaiting more ever since.
Feeling a little exiled? Let MOSES heal you with their warming stew of swirling psych and walk the path of redemption with MOSES’ incredible second EP.
Right from the offset, MOSESII free-falls into multifaceted hues. Opening track Keep Your Heart Beating amasses a wash of different sounds, easing from post punk to shoegaze and back again, full of thickly dense, swirling melodies: a foggy, slow-stewed sound that’s aptly summarised by their own swipe right-worthy bio: “Easy Listening, But Not Like The Fucking Eagles.” Similarly, Contentment’s Out of Date blends hypnotic melodies with buzzy layers of discord, drawling vocals and masses of reverb, all simmered together in layers and layers of treacly harmonies.
Guitars are at one time jangling and upbeat, at others, bending obtuse, spacey hypnosis. It’s a dense collective, so much so that even after several listenings, you still can’t grasp the thread to pull it apart and figure out how it’s all been laced together. But churned up, all together, it just works.
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Feel the Light has its edges softened in eerie, druggy feels, like raving in a waterlogged bunker, fifty metres under the sea. Sounds bat back and forth, echoes contract and expand, until time folds in on itself and distance feels like nothing but a concept, lending in juxtaposed instrumentals, eerie vocals and swirling in amongst there, a gently weaving saxophone.
No More Shall You Call, whose name takes inspiration from Nick Cave’s 11th studio album No More Shall We Part, opens with a droning, discordant riff. But while guitars are still buzzy, seeped in lethargic drawl, most of the textural playground that’s usually such a feature of MOSES songs is striped back here, making it the most toned down track of an otherwise richly blended EP.
That’s no bad thing though, as this song’s structured around the lyrics: an achingly frank, excruciating narrative, chronicling the goddamn torture of killing time waiting for an reciprocated love to phone, with insights like, ‘A call from you will help me to understand where my future lies, I’m chewing the insides of my mouth raw’. MOSES still can’t resist though, backing out of the track in druggy, sluggish exit.
Closing track End of the Line is another one of those tracks where time warps itself. It’s smoke-screened in buzzy, dreamlike haze, with wailing, shimmery guitars, warm, drawling vocals, and that saxophone that wanders in suddenly like a unexpected old friend to nudge you further into dystopian sway. If this is easy listening, we’re pretty happy sat stewing in it.