Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Review; Moonface-Dreamland E.P

When analyzing music I tend to not to think about the person behind the music, behind the copious monikers, behind the piano howling and yelping with a certain fragility which makes him seem like he could break in pieces at any moment. Yet I feel that Spencer Krug is an artist who needs to be addressed, who deserves to be noticed, and not to be hidden behind whichever mask he is choosing to hide behind. It just so happens that today he is not hidden behind a mask at all, but diving goggles, looking like my pal Sean up there in Thunderball, for the artwork of his new project, Moonface.

I briefly met Spencer Krug in Glasgow in September this year in Stereo's toilet while he was touring with Sunset Rubdown, showcasing one of the best albums of the year, Dragonslayer. I was using a urinal which he was waiting to use, I turned around mid-piss and shouted something unintelligible. Retrospectively, I maybe shouldn't have had quite so many Red Stripes that evening, but Krug was a true gentlemen and answered some drunken questions about Wolf Parade and their new album/tour. He struck me as such a timid soul compared to his music which often softens and roars, perhaps I only seen the quiet side of him.

I feel I should digress. He mentioned on stage that night about the poster advertising Sunset Rubdown as featuring members from Wolf Parade, Frog Legs and Swan Lake. Krug hastily identified that this wasn't fair on the rest of the band, as he was the only member in those bands. This shows the prolific nature of him, yet seldolm does he ever make a bad album with any of the projects he is involved with. Wolf Parade made one of the greatest albums of the decade with 'Apologies to the Queen Mary', with anthemic songs such as 'I'll Believe in Anything' and 'Grounds for Divorce' penned by Krug. His impressive 'side-project' Sunset Rubdown have released some of my favourite albums of the decade with 'Shut Up I am Dreaming' and the aforementioned 'Dragonslayer' taking the quasi-surreal dreamy songs of Krug into a completely different realm. Frog Legs is perhaps his lesser known project, but overlooking 2003's 'The Golden River' would be a massive mistake , as it is perhaps one of Krug's brightest flashes of genius.

His new project Moonface reiterates a common theme which arises in his other bands; dreaming. Dreamland EP; marimba and shit-drums is one single 20 minute track which exposes Krug at his most experimental but also most vulnerable. Perhaps contrasting 'Dragonslayer' which was one of his most accessible albums to date. The lyrics mirror the timid man I encountered in the toilet that night; 'I can breathe under the water, I can hear your muffled laughter I can feel you coming through the walls'. Dreamface is perhaps the most dream-like work of Krugs to date. With the song not conforming to a natural ebb and flow of progressions and patterns, yet conformity is never Krugs' style, preferring to push what is musically comfortable, relying heavily on the marimba in a fashion similar to experimental Icelandic band Amiina relying heavily on unconventional instrumentation. Dreamface ushers in a new moniker for Krug, but the essence and spirit of the Canadian is still evident throughout which leads me to ask if Spencer Krug is the most prolific and talented songwriter of the decade. Moonface surely cements the answer to this question as a massive 'yes'.

Please give a donation at the Moonface site and download the EP, as Spencer Krug has proven this decade to be worth it time and time again.

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