Lockdown has had different effects on people over these past twelve months. Some of us have remained static, waiting for the world to open up again. Others have used the opportunity to carry on as normal, working while juggling the unique problems the pandemic has thrown our way. Moon Panda are very much of the former category, having not stopped making music in spite of it all. This month, they present us with Visions, a song which neatly captures many of the best elements of this duo’s sound. Visions is the first taste of Moon Panda in 2021, bridging the gap between last year’s EP Make Well (Our review here) and their upcoming album Cloud Watching.
Maddy Myers’ voice is instantly familiar, one which sits comfortably in the current landscape of dreamy alt-pop singers. Her lyrics on visions are sparing, but her few words are clearly introspective. Like the rest of us, she’s had a lot of time to think in the past year. “Lay awake and I’ll pretend, I don’t want to be alone again.” “Picture all the things you’ve loved and lost – It’s enough to wreck your head.” It’s easy to dwell on the past in times like these, and Myers observes how these intrusive thoughts are taking over her whole world – “How it shifts across the sky, into my visions.”
For such lyrical anxiety, the music is wonderfully pleasant. Myers and Gustav Moltke, the other half of the duo, enjoy more instrumental time than usual on Visions. Moltke’s echoey guitar lines are the first thing you notice about the band, and their most distinct aural calling card. When that’s mixed with Myers’ softened basslines and the light drumming, it’s a sound that is unchallenging, gentle and sweet. It leaves acres of space for the vocals, sounding sparse and filled-out all at once. That’s the simple joy of listening to Moon Panda – They are able to create such lush songs with very little going on musically.
Fans of Visions will enjoy discovering their previous material – The aforementioned Make Well EP is more of the same and complements this song nicely. 2021 could be a great year for them, a full-length is an exciting prospect from this band and they’re already getting nods and accolades from some big names in the business. With a string of tour dates pencilled-in for later this year, they’ll also be able to open themselves up to new audiences. The pandemic has been testing on us all, but Moon Panda look to be coming out of it in very good shape indeed.