Mora Mothaus
Overture To A Dream


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
January 9th, 2020 | 28 replies


Release Date: 01/01/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The voice of a memory.

There is a little spot in the border between the cities of Tokyo and Kawasaki which is divided by the Tama river. The view from the stony shore is amazing, with skyscrapers blessed by the sunset, while the train that crosses from Kanagawa to Tokyo runs over the bridge and young baseball players endure their training sessions from dawn to dusk. I used to live near there when I first arrived in Japan so it’s a place I hold very dear. A few days ago, I came across a Tokyo based singer songwriter called Mora Mothaus. She was performing one of her songs for a YouTube series titled "Odd Connection" on that very same spot. There was an instant breach of nostalgia watching her playing in that place, while the sun came down, and the music fitted perfectly.

To my surprise, she had just released her debut EP, Overture to a Dream a week ago, on January 1st. Now, I have the upmost respect for artists capable of such commitment. The year's transition is usually a period where my vitals go deadpan and I'm incapable of anything that requires crawling out of the sofa. So, I decided to let Mora take the wheel and immersed myself in her music.

Overture to a Dream comprises five tracks that, I believe, she has been playing live for a while now, recorded with an admirable attention to detail and encapsulating a magic that reminded me at times to Emma Ruth Rundle's laureated Some Heavy Ocean. Although Mora's songs are not as dark and gloomy as Rundle's, they share the same lovely spark of an early craft. If you are familiar with the works of Darren Korb for the soundtrack of games like Transistor or Bastion, there will be some moments that will flashback to his music too.

Opening with "Tail Eater", it is immediately noticeable that: one, she has a beautiful voice, and two, she knows how to use it. The opener sounds like an acoustic version of a shoegaze track, with a slightly detuned strumming balancing in and out Mora's soothing singing while it slowly builds up to its emotional zenith. The beginning of "Toxic Snow", as the Dark Souls nerd I am, transports me to Lordran and the works of Motoi Sakuraba, that’s until the singing starts, and a trip hop beat playing with some piano notes brings me back to Mothaus's dream world. "Sacred Darkness, Sunshine", the song performed in the session I mentioned above, is a simple, nice folky tune, with a swift arpeggio carrying the track and crazy note transitions that show a bit of influence of western music and americana. My favorite track, "Memori" (it's not a typo), is absolutely stunning. A guitar lost in reverb, static, sounds that I can't even discern, they melt with each other while Mora engraves a chorus drenched in sorrow in the back of your mind. Closing this mini-album there is "To Know", a seven-minute epic that shows the strengths of Mora Mothaus as songwriter and how much potential she still has in reserve.

After a few days with the sole companion of Overture to a Dream, I am extremely thankful that my path had crossed somehow with Mora Mothaus’ music, all thanks to a place down the Tama river, once my secret spot, which holds so many dear memories to me, and that now hosts a truly exceptional artist.



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user ratings (17)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First review of 2020, it only took 9 days!



Seriously loving this little album, hope you guys dig it too.



Bandcamp link: https://moramothaus.bandcamp.com/



Video of the session I talked about, it's super nicely filmed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhJgHGnQ86s

Digging: Postcards - The Good Soldier

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


19936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aww the first two paras are cute context. This is nice and peeps should listen to it!

Digging: Amon Tobin - Permutation

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's my man.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


11204 Comments


I'm drawn to that artwork and I'm not really sure why.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A ciclopean armchair crying on the beach next to a piano full of candles and a human craneum? Yeah, I wonder why...



;)

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


11204 Comments


Well. If you need me I'll be in the room without the sharp objects.

Jerk.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love you too brother.



Can you tell the nurse to come see me on your way out? I'm running out of potasium...

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


11204 Comments


Nurse? I just get fed through that gap in the doorway they lock with a bolt. I see no one, know not their name.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In that case, I'll tell her you are running out of potasium too.



No worries! This one's on me. For the mess.

dmathias52
January 10th 2020


1107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What a great new first listen of 2020 this has been. Love it! Definitely getting the Emma Ruth Rundle vibes while still being her own thing

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 10th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you checked it Mat. The more I hear it the more I like it. That crescendo in the middle of "Memori" is amazing.

TabulaRasa6
January 10th 2020


39 Comments


Intriguing! Will give it a listen after work.

Digging: Mariya Takeuchi - Variety

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 10th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hope you enjoy it!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well thanks Feather for that 2.5 that finally balance things out.



:/

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


19936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is still so lovely damn

Divaman
January 11th 2020


4668 Comments


Might check it out, you've got me interested. I'd upvote this review if I could.

Digging: Meg and Dia - Happysad

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think you'd like some of her songs Diva.



Edit: and thanks for the mental pos!

Divaman
January 12th 2020


4668 Comments


You were right, Dewi. Good call.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you liked it!

Divaman
January 14th 2020


4668 Comments


I plan to buy a digital copy tomorrow or Thursday, after I get paid.



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