The haunted pop of the Soft Moon touches nostalgic, geometrical places
I ask, so how do you ever finish a song, at least in the sense of putting it out there? "I just abandon them," Vasquez says. Why bother making them? "I get attached to songs and put a lot of effort into making them. Occasionally they become revelations for me." How do you recuperate your abandoned revelations when you perform, repeating all over again what you could never finish in the first place? "When I play live, it gets to a euphoric level, and it's very cathartic, but I never get a sense of overcoming anything. Or the overcoming is really only my chance to express something to the crowd, to be vulnerable, finally."
Perhaps the Soft Moon's most revelatory song yet is "When It's Over." It's something of a post-apocalyptic nightmare, anticipating the end, a bleak and empty one, and at the same time recovering the traces of a past, revealing the specters and ghosts that still inhabit the present. Recurring dreams serve as inspiration; "You know, the typical: alien invasions, planets colliding, comets, the sun exploding — very cosmic — the earth stopping, or falling," he says. "It always has something to do with the galaxy. It's always so devastating ... I never could finish [Cormac McCarthy's] The Road either."
The EP, Total Decay, follows these same themes of temporal and planetary displacement, or rather, diaspora. But the core engine, and enigma, of these songs is always one full of life, vital and imaginative. "I want to hold onto the organism, since technology is developing so fast that we have difficulty adapting." Vasquez says. "Body, sensitivity, emotion, skin, flesh, blood — I think that's why the nostalgia is so prevalent in the music."
The Soft Moon holds on just as equally to the machine. The songs are produced organisms, synthesized from spirit and electronics; they are born, grow, mature, and wither away. In "Total Decay," swirling alarms disperse, echo, derail into static breath. Synthetic wind gusts into the hypnotic poly-percussion of "Visions," dancing frenetically around punctuated low end bass. Claps chatter and keys bubble up from the ether, and return to their source, without justification, just as suddenly. *
THE SOFT MOON
With Led Er Est, Chelsea Wolfe, Michael Stocke, and Josh Cheon
Mon/31, 9 p.m., $13
628 Divisadero, SF
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