Published Mar 18, 2020Moaning offer grownup dream pop on their sophomore release, Uneasy Laughter. With its often bright, and chill nature, the album is a fitting soundtrack for the transition from spring into summer. It saunters by delicately, evoking floral scents and pastel colours.
While the band lashed out via angular riffs on their debut, seamless synths now set the mood. Fitful builds-to-bursts are replaced with palatable pop interludes — the result of opting for a bass- and synth-driven sound. The result is a level soundscape with fewer twists and peaks, but a dreamy '80s vibe, complete with heady subject matter against an upbeat backdrop, like on the lead single "Ego," where dreary meets glimmer.
Moaning retain somewhat of a shoegaze-y sensibility with their bedroom v. dance floor vibe. There are moments when Joy Division ("Make it Stop"), the Cure and the Smiths ("Stranger" and "Fall in Love") come to mind, though more often, the subdued dramatics feel split between sentimental and playful, like Eurythmics or Pet Shop Boys ("Saving Face" and "What Separates Us"). (Sub Pop)