The self-proclaimed gadabouts of moody pop, Supermoon, are at it again! The group’s latest excursion, Playland, bubbles with intelligent, weirdo songs that combine sunny riffs and distorted ring outs. Coated in sugary vocals with driving bass, spectral guitars, and marching drums, the songs of Supermoon seem to wink at something lurking beneath the surface.
Rising from the ashes of two former Vancouver bands, the garage rock outfit Movieland and jangle pop 3-piece Pups, Supermoon borrows aspects from both groups to create catchy, challenging songs. Multi-instrumentalists Adrienne LaBelle and Alie Lynch take turns creating rich, dark bass and bright, sneering lead lines. Katie Gravestock, known as Groovestock to her bandmates, lives up to the name by providing an endless supply of smooth, melodic riffs. Selina Crammond acts as the backbone to the group with her playful drumbeats, reminiscent of the Flying Nun catalogue. As each of the members trade off on vocalist and songwriting duties, the album is at once eclectic and cohesive.
Recorded with Tom Prilesky and mastered by Josh Stevenson at Otic Sound in Vancouver, BC, the interplay between the musicians is central to the group’s sound as each instrument weaves in and out of the soundscape. Sharing the space and creating layered compositions, the friendship and respect between the members of Supermoon becomes obvious when listening to Playland. Dueling guitar riffs, dynamic breakdowns, and responsive rhythms are all direct results of this reciprocity. The outcome of the band’s close relationship can also be heard in the warmth that permeates the album. There is a distinct tenderness to their musicianship, even in its more ominous moments.
“Continuing the thread started in our 2015 EP Comet Lovejoy, we’ve been honing our collaborative songwriting technique to create a more intimate musical space,” says drummer Selina Crammond.
At times, the album can be voyeuristic in its sincerity, such as in the late night pop lament “Witching Hour”. However, it is also laced with unreliable narrators who easily betray their thoughts and emotions, like in the grungy and propulsive “If You Say So” or the obsessive and unhealthily sweet “Bottleships”. Despite the disarmingly melodic vocals, Supermoon interlaces night time themes throughout, covering the darker aspects of everything from the ethics of love messed up world of (“Unsaid”) to the fashion (“Fast-Fashion”).
Part hot fudge sundae, part film noir, prepare to be weirded out by the addictive and intricate novelty of Supermoon’s Playland. Who knows what darkness lurks in the hearts of men? Supermoon fucking knows.
PLAYLAND DOUBLE 7″ TRACK LISTING:
A1. Night Division
A2. Witching Hour
B1. If You Say So
C1. Stories We Tell Ourselves about Ourselves
D1. Secrets in a Small Town