“Tumbling, where are we going / I know we’ve been here before”
The lyrics that open jazz-alternative band Moondle’s eponymous album recall the monotony of the day-to-day. Luckily, the group’s most recent release serves as a welcome distraction, with its lush, mystical instrumentation matched with ethereal, sweeping vocals.
“Water Guides,” the first song on the record, immediately intrigues with vocalist Emma Postl slipping in and out of their upper register. Their vocals softly introduce a swaying drum beat from Mili Hong, whose agile percussion fuels the rest of the album. As we head further in with laid-back track “Song,” I can’t help but close my eyes and take in the track’s calming bass and pared-down feel. The track highlights Moondle’s ability to deliver a powerful yet understated performance, with pure vocals complementing one of the jazzier grooves on the record.
The album takes a noisier turn as we get to “I Forget Your Name,” one of the more energetic tracks on the release. The folky guitar commingles with lyrics pondering the fleeting nature of love, followed by a grungy interlude of distorted chords and cymbal crashes. All the while, Postl’s lofty voice buoys above, bringing the song to its mellow end.
Entering the final leg of the record, Moondle brings foggy forest mystique with the aptly titled “From The Tree.” The lyrics muse about seeking respite from feeling overwhelmed: “My tangled thoughts finally have some space.” Punchy bass gives the song a darker tone as it charges through the track, with gentle drumming ramping up to the finish. The last song, “Destroyer” is a downtempo track that stands out from the rest of the album’s songs. With Postl’s utilizing the lower end of her range, the song is a soft space lullaby with a hint of a jazz beat.
Moondle takes listeners’ minds on a drive, stopping by rock and jazz on its way to create a calming, introspective journey. Although the record can meander at times, Hong’s incredibly smooth drumming coupled with comfy vocals give direction and purpose to the album. It’s fluid, magical, refreshingly soothing and reinforces Moondle’s spot in Vancouver’s alternative community.