Album Review: Lunar Twin – Ghost Moon Ritual



For a duo with members in Hawaii and Utah, Lunar Twin have perfectly captured a glacial Arctic chill with deep dark gothic trimmings in their glorious album ‘Ghost Moon Ritual’. With a mix of The Mission-like thunder, a Leonard Cohen/Nick Cave delivery and a Massive Attack trip-hop bedrock, this is a divine collision of the coolest genres to create something quite spine tingling special.

According to the band, the name Lunar Twin comes from a theory about earth having possibly had a twin moon.  The members have an interest in space- and time theories and are inspired by Einstein’s Twin Paradox and Theory of Relativity.

The band notes that during the three years of writing and recording the album, several people close to the band passed away bringing a heavy mood to the proceedings. During this time, two beautiful children were born as well, bringing with them a reminder of the joy that still exists and is always enduring.

Singer Bryce Boudreau says:

I feel grateful… making this record it was a pretty cathartic process but glad to have been able to be a part of this and thankful for Chris and my Dog Zoey for sticking it out with me to see it all the way to the finish.

As in any meeting of minds, greater things arise from individual components. Lunar Twin have brought together the deeply resonant and baritone voice of Boudreau – a voice that profoundly and enigmatically rumbles and seduces from the speakers – with the multi instrumentalist Chris Murphy who has produced a complex, layered soundscape that crosses and enhances all genres.

Opening track ‘Drunken Sky’ is a case in point. A sombre dark beginning with its percussive spine beating almost in counterpart to Boudreau’s laconic, poised delivery – deep and poetic. This creates an enticing dichotomy – a song with two streams, both hypnotic and upbeat:

Second track, ‘Leaves’, ups the pace and exemplifies the studied anthemic songwriting in Lunar Twin. This is a gorgeous pop song at its heart, enhanced and differentiated by the deep, longing vocals infused with melody and heartache and a bubbling, restrained instrumentation. The accompanying video, directed by Zoey Nyguen is from the world of Bladerunner and Drive – neon lights and cityscapes:

Absolutely delicious electro-pop goth at its primacy.

‘Bautista’, with its soothing strings, acoustic guitar and an epic story-telling delivery is studied, poised and born from a preaching/story telling tradition – almost spoken, whispered. It’s that drunken cowboy in the shadowy corner of the bar telling stories for whiskey. If you are familiar with the great Alabama Three or Tindersticks, Lunar Twin have joined their esteemed ranks with this song.

Tracks like ‘Neon Lights’, ‘Cinema’, ‘Slow Down, Breathe, and ‘Mountains Turn to Dust’ are individual atmospheric journeys of their own – late nights, smoky bars, early morning drives home, percussion ticking like a clock, a dream-like fugue.

The altogether too short ‘Before the Rain’ captures again that anthemic heart rending classicism that Lunar Twin evoke so well. Evocative repetition piano riffs form a bedrock for Boudreau’s whiskey-soaked melancholia.

Boudreau’s voice in ‘Voyager’ is a deep, whispered rumble across classical arpeggios and a shuffling percission.

With its rumbling piano at the fore, ‘Electric Lights’ captures the deep dark thrill of the album as a whole: an eighties late night neon lit epic. Boudreau’s voice maintains its enigmatic delivery – its is such an aural delight: melodic, melancholic and poetic. Beautiful:

In ‘Hawks’, Lunar Twin fittingly soars into a more higher octane level – displaying the band’s synth pop mastery – almost redolent of classics like early Simple Minds or Cabaret Voltaire.

‘Ghost Moon Ritual’ stretches over thirteen tracks – some elegiac pop songs, others atmospheric interludes, all a delicious neon-lit late night/early morning road trip carried by languorous velvet vocals that evoke darkness, desire and longing. A marvellous album.

The album is available now through the above link, remembering too that BandCamp is forgoing all fees paid by artists on the first Friday of the next three months. This means all the money goes straight to the artists.

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