When I first turned on Moon Panda’s new EP “Waveless”, the initial sound had me thinking this would be an alt-rock release. As I kept listening, it felt more like dream pop, but I realized there were none of the classic synths associated with this category.
Singer and songwriter Maddy Myers’ latest release keeps us guessing as she explores the beauty in the mundane. . She fronts the band and acts as lead vocalist and bass guitarist. The group does consist of three other band members, with the other main influence being Gustav Moltke. He acts as the group’s lead guitarist and keyboardist. He is responsible for the dream-pop-esque sound, and often performs some clever guitar processing rather than opting for a traditional synth. It’s a unique and intelligent use of technology and instrumentation, and this innovation helps to set the band apart.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/282299957″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The “Waveless EP” is named after the previously released single “Waveless”, a fantastic release that focuses on somewhat mystical lyrics. Lines such as, “A waveless sea’s a selfish thing, I know. Think fast think slow oh I have grown tired” have a puzzling air to them, yet seemingly keep the listener coming back, trying to decipher the unknown. Ultimately the track is about feeling invisible and hidden, too tired to try any more. The track “Blue” was by far the most well-composed of the EP. It features simple yet strong guitar and drum portions that help to elevate the beautiful vocals. Maddy sings, “You bring me blue skies, I could bring you blue eyes, but I think they might give up too much of my desire.” The skilled writing present throughout is the highlight of the release.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/282299948″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Moon Panda‘s “Waveless EP” offers some great vocals and a mysterious quality writing but can leave the listener rather dazed and confused
Moon Panda‘s EP is not without its troubles, though. There doesn’t seem to be much of a continuity between the tracks, no real theme to tie the sounds together. It’s more exploratory and conceptual, changing styles, tunes, and tones, throughout. This conflict leaves the listener rather dazed and confused without purpose. While aiming for “genuine intimacy”, I think the abstract nature might have drawn Moon Panda a bit too far into the abyss. In particular, “Your Doll” features far too much reverb, overpowering the lyricist and causing unneeded competition in regards to the listeners’ attention. The result is the creation of background music, an easily tuned-out tune that had the potential for greatness but fell short due to composure. I found aspects of a similar effect throughout, dragging the EP down further still.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/282299969″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Intrigue, mystery, and quality writing brought the EP to the forefront of our attention. Unfortunately, pockets of poor composition and a lack of unity can’t sustain the great vocals. I look forward to their future work as Moon Panda regroups for another attempt at showing off their musical prowess.