Moira - Asleep/Repeat/Awake (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Asleep/Repeat/Awake (2015)

Self Released

On their debut release, Asleep/Repeat/Awake, Moira create an atmosphere of hushed keyboards, muted bass and some of the best atmospheric drumming I've heard in a while. Falling well into the dream pop world, these musicians come together to create something that falls on the mellower side of the genre as it lacks the wall of noise guitar found in some dream pop bands that have a heavy influence from the shoe gazing genre. It would come as no surprise to find Portishead's Dummy or Radiohead's Kid A  and Amnesiac received some regular play while this album was being written. The band doesn't steal or attempt to recreate the sounds of those albums directly. They do, however, manage to create a great piece of music that is all about atmosphere, just as those aforementioned releases are.

When mixed with the voice of keyboardist Alicia Grodecki, the bands sound has another layer added to it. With a voice that works as well in a whisper as when she shows how powerful her voice can be. Which is a increasingly rare thing to see in vocalists these days, an understanding of dynamics and how they can add to the overall power of a lyric or even make and otherwise ridiculous lyric have all the meaning in the world. The vocals add to the haunting and lasting nature of this album.

Another element of this release I loved, was the drumming. As anyone who is a fan of punk and rock music will tell you, drums that are fast and loud are awesome. They get you energized and keep the song moving full force. That being said, anyone who's played music will tell you playing soft is significantly harder than playing loud, and this album has some of the best drumming I've heard in that regard in a long time. Never needing to play above the melodies, but simply supporting them. While still very much a rhythm instrument, you're given the sense that the drums on this album weren't just there to keep time and give the bass player someone to make eye contact with during live shows. They are a vital part of the atmosphere created by the band as a whole.

This is a strong debut, with a fully developed voice that still leaves room to be built around in the future. While every song on this album are worth listens, the songs I found myself coming back to the most often were “Machines,” Midwestern Waste,” and the closer “Blacking Out.” A more than solid effort for this groups first release, the fully realized and developed songs makes you want to know how the band will continue to develop its sound going forward.