It’s been two years since US electro-goth outfit Lunar Twin released their magnificent album ‘Ghost Moon Ritual‘ back in April 2020: a point in time when we were oblivious to the full force of what was to come around the globe.
Now, the band is back with their new album entitled ‘Aurora’., out through Tropical Depression Records. One half of the duo, singer songwriter Bryce Boudreau, says:
After the challenges of the last few years making music is more so than ever a refuge for me. I’m grateful to get to do this again.
The other half of the duo, Christopher Murphy, adds that he is:
…excited to share this journey of the last year of making Aurora in this different new reality.
Based in Salt Lake City, Murphy adds:
We live thousands of miles apart separated by the Pacific ocean and mountains ranges and deserts. These disparate places of isolation are the nexus for our songwriting.
Bourdreau, who lives in Hawaii, adds:
The juxtaposition of desert and ocean plays a big role in this album, the ebb and flow of the modern world colliding with an ancient one. The moods of ‘Aurora’ embody the ongoing conflicts between humans and their machines, vs. the mysteries and unknowns of the primeval world. A sort of homage to the dream state that exists somewhere between the two differing realities.
Despite the vicissitudes of life that have burdened us all in the recent years, one thing is certain: Lunar Twin remains an exciting and vital musical force and ‘Aurora’ continues their adventurous and exciting sonic journey.
There is a visceral dark and gothic undercurrent to the electronic flow in the album: a motorik beat driving glacial synths that support the sonorous vocals with a scatter gun percussion. The fuzzy thrum and insistent forward motion is sparse and atmospheric, with an ebb and flow that is cathartic. The electronic aura cuts and thrusts like a sabre – the cold distant attack reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, leavened by a dream pop melody.
Opening track ‘Beyond The Sun’ contains, antithetically, all the chill and stature that exemplifies Lunar Twin’s previous work. It is accompanied by a brilliant, immersive video, directed by Mizuki Hayashi, has a sci-fi anime feel that nods at Akira or Ghost In The Shell within a Blade Runner neon-lit world, interspersed with the band performing. It is enigmatic and ominous at the same time, fitting in with the sonic multi-layered architecture of the music. Boudreau says:
I love how Mizuki envisioned this new world, then brought it to life around our song . We are lucky to have her work with us
Mizuki really found a way to show her own concepts and way of seeing the world and yet still fit with the vibes of our song I’m stoked to have worked with her
The result is a perfectly executed marriage of sight and sound in a purple hue that befits the mysterious nature of this very exciting band:
Second track ‘Cars’ has an hypnotic syncopated beat with ghostly, distant vocals soaring above the thrum. A guitar riff cuts through the fog with glacial precision.
‘Android Dreams’ has a statuesque presence with its motorik heartbeat and quiet understated drive that snakes its way into the head. The vocals are whispered, deep and sonorous with an ominous edge, evoking an image of rich red velvet-walled bars late at night, bacchanalian excess and a sense of regret and loss.
The video contains creative common and fair use footage of work by the famed Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller who died in 2018. It was made by Frances Campbell, a fan of the group, re-filming and creating collages of Müller‘s works as a educational tribute to him, interspersed with the band performing. She felt like the band’s music was cinematic in nature and would be suitable pairing. Murphy says:
…really random things seem to happen to us: folks we have never met sending us such a cool video out of the blue wanting to collaborate with us for this tribute video.
I love the imagery: I was swept away in memories watching the collage Ms Campbell assembled
The result is mesmerising and immersive as the vocals intone softly I guess the hardest part is that humans have no heart over a set of sweeping, restless movements bathed in a muted night time neon glow.
Müller worked with the legendary directors Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Lars Von Trier and Sally Potter to name but a few, and his distinctive style and pioneering in digital cinematography seeps its way into the collages in the video. Widescreen and enigmatic, the images bleed and pulsate together in time with the beat of the track. The duo appear as ghostly apparitions against the backdrop of change and motion: enigmatic and mysterious:
‘Can’t Stop The Rain’ has an atmospheric pulse with more glacial synth riffs that elevate the track into something vital and animated. In tracks like ‘Traveler’ and ‘Silver Strand’, Boudreaux’s vocals remain almost whispered and set back behind the electronic beat – observant and distant.
‘Night Orchard’ warms the chilly air with its billowing synths, the vocals whispering enigmatically in your ears while ‘Dark, Dark Wave’ and ‘Shadow Language’ pulsate with rippling guitars. Final track ‘A River Cuts Thru Stone’ has the stature of something grand and eloquent, gentle synths and a celestial presence.
‘Aurora’ is out now and can be downloaded and streamed through all the usual sites and through the link below: