In 2014, Supermoon were riding a wave of adulation as they played live shows — similiar to the anticipation surrounding their namesake phenomenon. This excitement grew and culminated in 2015 with their stellar EP, Comet Lovejoy, just before the supermoon coincided with a total lunar eclipse.
Come 2016 the supermoon eclipse has dropped out of public consciousness. But the challenge is for Supermoon to carry on strong. Playland, Supermoon’s new double 7’’, is another bold statement for the band, and an excellent record, ensuring the Vancouver four-piece won’t face a similar fate as their namesake curiosity.
The record opens with two of Supermoon’s more mellow melodies. “Night Division” has almost sinister undertones, bemoaning unrequited love: “And I saw myself divide / As I watched you just walk by.” “Witching Hour” opens with the verse “I guess that I messaged you first / But I can’t really recall / I don’t like eating alone / But I kind of like sleeping alone.” Supermoon’s lyrics are a highlight throughout, levelling each former egotistical relation, one breathy verse at a time.
The darker tone that defines these two opening tracks continues throughout Playland, setting it apart from their wistful debut tape. The band have grown into their craft. Adding in Tom Prilesky’s excellent production, Supermoon now sound fine-tuned. They appear fearless in their songwriting approach, translating raw emotions rather than sticking to an indie-pop recipe. Playland gives off a confidence that is instantly likable.
There is a brighter guitar line on “If You Say So,” but the refrain, “You were right / You were right / You were always right” has the same lyrical bite. The song culminates with a verse that sums up many people’s hidden battles: “I could have looked the other way / I could have just walked home / But I didn’t.” It articulates the voice inside that debates whether it’s worth sharing one’s true feelings.
The second 7” is no less impressive. “Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves” displays the band’s musicianship, where the guitars of Alie Lynch and Katie Gravestock combine to create a bona fide dancefloor filler. However, this musicianship almost plays second-fiddle, as the lyricism is stand-out good. With each listen you will discover a new favourite couplet. A verse that shines through features on “Unsaid”: “I’ll write you a letter / But I’m not a sender / Some things are better left unsaid.”
As a whole record, Playland is a brilliant listen. Supermoon have crafted a distinctive sound that is hard not to fall in love with. I’d do anything to be part of the gang.