Having already graced our virtual desk twice before, The Other Side Reviews is no stranger to Moon Museum; however, we can hardly say we can define the act. Drawing together elements of dream-pop, post-punk, indie-rock and alt-pop, the US-based quartet is genre-defying. Featured on publications like YMX, It’s All Indie, Nexus Music Blog, Less Than 1000 Followers and various others, Moon Museum is gaining a reputation for engaging and intriguing music.
Originally conceived as a collaboration between Ryan Joseph (vocals, guitar and bass) and Ian Zazueta (lead guitar), the pair connected over mutual influences including Doves and Slowdive. After reaching out to Olivia Barchard (vocals, guitar and keys) and recruiting Aaron Hazen (drums), Moon Museum was formed. 2019 and 2020 were filled with recording, mixing and mastering, but now the band’s music is available to share with the masses. The latest addition to their discography is ‘Contraptions’.
The third single from the foursome, ‘Contraptions’ is a smooth, languid single with a hazy ambience. As I mentioned above, Moon Museum experiment with musical styles and ‘Contraptions’ is more flowing than the grunge-influenced ‘With You’ (read our review here). Think Foals with slivers of The Cure and a harmonic union between dynamic guitars, pounding drums and sexy synths.
What I enjoy about Moon Museum, and particularly ‘Contraptions’ is how the instrumentation takes you on a journey through the track. Soft, flowing and soothing, ‘Contraptions’ has an abstract feel, but the crescendo into a catchy chorus with hard-hitting guitar riffs adds another layer of intrigue to the track.
Touching on issues of bittersweet desire and longing, the single might be construed as a love song – perhaps it is in its ethereal way. Yet, there is an element of deep connection in Joseph’s tender vocals, the richness is elegantly backed by Barchard’s haunting voice. Needless to say, I enjoyed ‘Contraptions’ with its otherworldly melody and the lingering sense of melancholy. I hope to hear more from Moon Museum in the future.