In a time where gender seems to have become more politicised and polemic than ever before, ‘Pleasures Of Peace’, the first single from San Franciscan shoegaze quartet Moon Museum, is that sought-after magical spread of masculine and feminine, yin and yang perfectly balanced between Olivia Barchard’s epic, soaring vocals and Ryan Joseph’s wash of swooping guitars. Swathes of dreamy psychrock, awash in Gretschy 12-string and echo sit atop reverb-soaked pushing drums and driving melodic bass. There’s obvious Slowdive influences, but Lush and Belly too, Swallow, the softer parts of My Bloody Valentine, and, of course, the all-straddling Cocteau Twins Liz Fraser, and gentler elements of Curve’s Toni Halliday in the vocal mix too, alongside the Doves and Chameleons guitars.
It’s a delicious, heady, atmospheric mix of dreamrock, arcing back to the 4AD shoegaze heyday of the late ‘80s and 1990s; hypnotic and entrancing, energetic and yet calming, all at once.
Moon Museum have two further singles slated for release in 2021; on the basis of ‘Pleasures Of Peace’, we can’t wait to hear them, too.
Review by Alex Holmes