Review Summary: music to forget you exist toWhat on Earth
is a lovely, if lethargic, listen. Stripped of the pop hooks and synth riffs that dominated their preceding EPs, Moon Panda slouches into their inflatable lounge chairs, floating in their backyard dream pool. The album recalls the soupy haze of summer, those lazy nights of relaxation that all blend together into a blanket of long-term, much-needed rest.
As is a common criticism of indie debut albums, the best tracks are from prior releases. These moments, namely “Slow Drive” and “Rabbit,” maintain just enough of the vigor and catchiness to sustain the agreeable coasting that the record indulges in-between. And make no mistake, it is agreeable
. Maddy Myers’ voice holds a jazzy but gentle presence throughout, guiding the listener through these dreamy worlds by the hand. Guitars and keys layer listlessly behind her, occasionally breaking uniform to deliver an inspired passage, yet the rapping percussion never ceases from its plodding pace. Such a disruption may prove too shaking for the musical pacifism of Moon Panda, but goddamn if a reprieve from the reprieve wouldn’t be nice.
But like those summer nights, music like this is necessary, a much-needed rest from the inherent stresses of these insightful modern works that frequently surprise and require constant attention. Yet as crucial as it is to have music like this to turn to when the lights go down, I’ll be damned if I’ll remember any of it come summer’s end.