Review: Moon Duo – Shadow of the Sun

San Franciscan treasures Moon Duo have resurfaced onto our horizons this week with the unveiling of their fourth LP, Shadow of the Sun. Chloe Mayne checks it out:

Released through Brooklyn’s independent jewel Sacred Bones Records and mixed by Finnish sonic magician Jonas Verwijnen in Berlin, this is psychedelia encrusted by shards of the city; a slightly ramped-up urgency stirred with heady, disorienting bass spirals and the blare of lightpoints in darkness. The title is a good fit, for Shadow of the Sun drips with dusky hues, well suited to a sultry sitting of red wine and slowly spun vinyl in a late-night basement. For those of us Down Under, it’s the perfect late-summer lament; for the rest, it’s a promise of the sun’s coming rotation.

Opening track ‘Wilding’ provides an early and unforgettable highlight of our journey through the clouded portal. It’s sweaty, wrung with signature keyboard that trembles like heat on bitumen. Guitar licks and pulls with dramatic swoops, smooth and almost howling. ‘Free The Skull’ continues to quiver, drums plodding with steady feet. The twinkling keys of ‘Zero’ run like fingers up and down the spine of a swooning, heavy back line. ‘In A Cloud’ lures things back into a slower groove, a side-to-side sway to stop for breath between more frantic counterparts. Urgency begins to build and fog our vision with ‘Ice’, a seven-minute bender that devolves into a fuzzy, guitar-strung plateau. Final track ‘Animal’ presses in the pin with a brief but intense orbit, leaving gentle goosebumps along the forearms and a rich taste on the tongue.

When pressing a thumb to the Moon Duo pulse, there’s no significant departure between this record and those that have come before it, but so what? Shadow of the Sun continues to ride out the writhing wave that washed onto our shores with the release of Mazes in 2011 and distils it to glittering clarity. A solid concoction from this troupe of psychedelic troubadours.

Shadow of the Sun is now available over here at Sacred Bones Records.

Chloe Mayne


Words by Chloe Mayne.