WATCH: Moon Palace – ‘Who You Are’

Gratitude, acceptance, and a beautiful message of hope underscores Moon Palace‘s latest single, ‘Who You Are’. Created during lockdown, the Seattle-based band have shared an accompanying video for the track which shows how they’ve been supporting each other during this uncertain time.

“Do you ever share who you are?” they tentatively ask throughout the song, cautiously challenging listeners to be vulnerable and to let others connect to their thoughts and feelings. “‘Who You Are’ is about navigating difficult or volatile relationships” the band explain. Moon Palace navigate this difficulty via direct lyrics and tentative guitar sounds.

The single’s accompanying visuals act as a “Quarantine Time Capsule” for the band, who came up with the idea during isolation. They explain further: “Prior to the pandemic we were listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, The Gossip, Talking Heads, Duran Duran, Big Thief and sending each other text messages with their songs so that we could listen to sounds that inspired us at practice together. Social isolation has brought a new challenge in collaboration. Cat, Jude, and one of their best friends and video editor Lindsay Martin sat around on a sunny spring day during a socially distanced backyard hang, and talked about creating a video to show their experience in Seattle during the pandemic.”

“We asked our friend group to send 10 second video clips that portray their experience in isolation. We hoped to gain clips documenting our collective reality to show joy and bring comfort and delight to viewers. We also felt nostalgia for playing live in our favourite music venues such as The Tractor Tavern, Clock-Out Lounge, The Wildrose and so many more. Shut down venues and the incredible murals have centre stage in this video.”

Hopefully, Moon Palace will be able to return to these Seattle venues to play their optimistic, shimmering sounds for a live audience soon. Watch the video for ‘Who You Are’ below and follow Moon Palace on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Mamiffer – ‘The Brilliant Tabernacle’

An ode to life and light; Mamiffer‘s latest album The Brilliant Tabernacle is a quiet affair, but it speaks volumes about the patience and tenacity of the human heart. Based in Seattle, Mamiffer (formed of Faith Coloccia, her partner and collaborator Aaron Turner, and a string of auxiliary musicians) have crafted seven tracks that exude genuine warmth and gentility over a series of diverse, electronic-acoustic soundscapes.

Opening track ‘All That is Beautiful’ brims with tentative piano, steady drums and Coloccia’s soft vocals. It sounds equal parts vast and sparse, particularly when Turner’s distorted guitar sounds break through towards the end. The hymn-like ‘River of Light’ flows like its namesake, with more of Coloccia’s gentle vocals lilting above a captivating soundscape of flute, drones, pulses, and melodic fragments.

An exquisite instrumental floods the first three minutes of ‘So That The Heart May Be Known’. It’s a wonderful blend of strings and folk-tinged sounds, and is easily one of the highlights of the record. Coloccia’s voice comes back in to focus again on ‘Two Hands Together’, a lament to the light that shines through on the darkest of nights. Following track ‘To Receive’ gives similar treatment to themes of vulnerability and acceptance.

‘Hymn of Eros’ – Eros being the Greek God of love & sex – is an epic nine minute track. It’s a mythically themed, searching soundscape; a resurrection of hope and love spread across multiple layers of classical and folk-tinged instrumentation. The record closes with ‘To Be Seen’, with Coloccia’s welcoming lyric “you are one of us” becoming more reassuring each time she repeats it. This maternal element to her songwriting was inspired by the birth of her first child after her last album, The World Unseen, and it permeates the new release.

“So many problems in the world stem from people who do not love themselves, and have lost a fundamental gift that should be everyone’s birth right: to be loved unconditionally and completely” explains Coloccia. On The Brilliant Tabernacle, she has attempted to remedy this, and as a result, has created an uplifting and emotive record that will ease listeners out of the solitary shadows, and in to the unified light.

Listen to Mamiffer’s new album on Spotify below. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Photo Credit: Ethan DeLorenzo

PREMIERE: Moon Palace – ‘Bold’

A brooding, yet hopeful blur of atmospheric guitars and soft vocals; Moon Palace have shared their latest single ‘Bold’. The Seattle indie band – fronted by twin sisters Cat & Carrie Biell – have been busy gearing up for the release of their new album Shadowcast, which is described as “a balance between light and dark”.

‘Bold’ is a gentle, yet urgent track that elegantly showcases this balance. The accompanying video directed by Sierra of Elope Productions, also reflects the band’s outlook. Talking about their new record, the band extrapolate: “Shadow self and trying to be positive through interactions with people you love. Outer world to the innermost personal world. Balancing the sun sign and moon sign. Knowing your inner personal self within the context of the universe.”

Throughout the recording of their new album, the band members would text each other songs from Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, Duran Duran and Big Thief, shaping the sound of what was to come. Twins Cat (guitar, vocals) and Carrie (bass, vocals) began writing songs together as teenagers, cultivating a musical bond made particularly significant as children of two deaf parents. Joined by Jude Miqueli (drums) and Darcey Zoller (cello, synth), the band’s hook-driven yet at times discordant guitars are the perfect soundtrack for late-night desert drives.

When they’re not making music, Carrie works with the blind and deaf to secure employment (as well as taking care of her 5-year-old son), Jude is an elementary school teacher & drum instructor at Queer & Trans Youth Music Program, Cat is a graphic designer and Darcey also works in art direction and film production.

Watch the video for ‘Bold’ below and follow Moon Palace on Facebook for more updates.

Moon Palace US 2019 Tour Dates
9/20: Seattle, WA @ Clockout Lounge (Album Release Show)
9/28: Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
10/12: Seattle, WA @ Screwdriver Bar (Spread)
10/19: Boise, ID @ Neurolux
10/24: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/26: San Francisco, CA @ Amnesia
12/6: Seattle, WA @ Southgate Roller Rink
12/13: Seattle, WA @ Crybaby Artist Showcase

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Chastity Belt – ‘Elena’

Dreamy, overlapping vocals and lush guitar sounds permeate ‘Elena’, the new single from GIHEs faves Chastity Belt. The track is taken from their fourth self-titled album which is set for release on 20th September via Hardly Art records, and Milk! records in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s a subtle, personal song inspired by the band’s love of author Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, which they all read over the course of last year. Bassist Annie Truscott explains further: “We individually related to the ways in which the main character’s sense of self is inextricably linked to her desire for love and validation, both from lovers and friends. The overlapping voices on top of the whimsical wave-like instrumentals captures the universal feeling of having a conversation with yourself about yourself.”

After taking a break from band life and pursuing their own solo endeavours, it seems that Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar, drums), Lydia Lund (vocals, guitar), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals, guitar) & Annie Truscott (bass) have been refreshed by their time apart, which ironically seems to have brought them closer together. The band co-produced their new album with Melina Duterte (aka Jay Som), which sees them sharing lead vocals on different tracks, and working with different instruments such as violin (played by Annie), cello, trumpet and keyboards.

“I feel like this record is a really good representation of who we all are, and I feel like we’re at a point where we’ve really come into our own” explains Julia. New single ‘Elena’ sounds like the sweetest taste of what’s to come from a band who value time, authenticity, and celebrating long-term friendship both on and off stage.

Listen to ‘Elena’ below and follow Chastity Belt on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Chastity Belt’s new self-titled album here.

Chastity Belt’s 2019 UK Tour Dates (with GANG)
Oct 13 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Oct 15 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Oct 16 – Manchester, UK @ YES
Oct 17 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
Oct 19 – Oxford, UK @ Ritual Union
Oct 20 – Cardiff, UK @ SWN Festival
Oct 21 – Brighton, UK @ Patterns
Oct 23 – Southampton, UK @ The Joiners
Oct 24 – London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall

Photo by Beto Brakmo

Kate Crudgington