Friday, August 19, 2022

Moonpools find their sound on new EP ‘Damaged Goods’

Swiss indie-pop five piece Moonpools have been together in some form or another since 2017 and really started to make a name for themselves with the release of debut EP ‘Turbulent Times’. This was an EP which drew from a range of influences – it had a charm and sweetness but was sonically less cohesive.

But their new EP sees the group choosing more firmly a direction for their future. A sound which is perhaps only rising in popularity is the contemporary take on dream pop fused with indie. Artists like Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy have been two of the most popular pioneers of the sound and have clearly had a big influence on the band. ‘Weak Ankles’ is a track in particular which could fit neatly into Soccer Mommy’s discography.

The new era of dream pop has departed somewhat from the sound as it was in the nineties, collecting influences from 2000s indie pop-rock. It would be difficult for anyone to live up to the ground-breaking era of original dream pop and shoegaze musicians such as Ride, Mazzy Star or the ever original Cocteau Twins. And yet it's hard to deny the catchiness of these indie-pop bops. Moonpools embody this new movement, while still clearly taking influence from other sounds and strains of pop: it would be easy, for instance, to see the comparisons between synth lines of title track ‘Damaged Goods’ and that of new wave classic ‘This is the Day’ by The The.

In their lead singer, Marcie Nyffeler, the band has their strong core. Her cute, melancholic lyrics which are dominated by themes of love, rejection and despair have always formed the heart and soul of the band. On ‘Brainbug’ for instance, it is the lyrics which are undoubtedly the most memorable part of the song, and are reminiscent of the queen of lyrical sass, Lily Allen. On this EP, the band have found a way to elevate and strengthen their core, as the new sound is one to which Nyffeler’s soft and sweet voice is perfectly suited – on ‘Secret’ her vocal and lyrical confidence moves in tandem with the track's development. ‘Feel’ features her strongest vocal performance and showcases her range. It is a song which sums up the kitsch charm of the band: chilled and catchy instrumentation yet eerily despondent lyrics like “I wanna feel something / I wanna feel real”.

Certainly the band is going in the right direction, cultivating a solid following outside their native Switzerland and finding a place in the indie dream-pop scene where they can flourish over time.

Annie Hackett


Image: ‘Damaged Goods’ official EP cover

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