One of our many favorite things to come out of the Golden State, Los Angeles’ Mansions on the Moon have been perfecting a gorgeous brand of downtempo, but incredibly inviting pop music since the release of their first mixtape Paradise Falls in 2011; and after 2012’s wonderful Lightyears EP which was produced by Pharrell Williams, we were ready for something ambitious from the continuously impressive four-piece. Thus, one year later, we have been exalted with their latest body of work: Full Moon. Totaling five tracks and only 19 minutes in length, Full Moon again peels back another layer of the band’s psyche while simultaneously setting the ceiling even higher on their ever abundant potential.
The extended play’s title track (a tune we shared last month, in case you missed it) opens with a clean, popping snare, backed by an echoey choir sample and poppy synth line all wrapped in Ted Wendler’s reverb treated vocals. “Full Moon” serves as a wonderful thesis statement for the album, flaunting a large sampling of their talents and production skill all in one pretty package. Further padding out the EP’s sounds is the anthemic indie tune (if there is such a thing) “It’s Not Too Late”. Again, Wendler’s intonations are center stage but the clever instrumentation from Ben Hazelgrove on keys and Lane Shaw’s honed in drumming add such a unique fullness to not just “It’s Not Too Late”, but to the album as a whole.
As singles “Radio”, “It’s Not Too Late” and “Full Moon” had been teased and released in the past few months leading to Full Moon’s official release, the real treat comes in the form on two previously unheard collaborative tracks, “More Than Nothing” featuring Frank + Derol lead vocalist Codi Caraco and “Heart of the Moment” with Zee Avi. Both tunes provide a departure from the still to be determined “Mansions on the Moon Sound” and lie on different ends of the spectrum. “More Than Nothing” functions as a slow-burning electro-pop ballad featuring that always lovely back-and-forth male-female vocal play with a subdued MIDI hook gently pounding away and a welcome lead piano fusing the entire movement together seamlessly; whereas “Heart of the Moment” takes us into an 80’s discotechque with some bouncy synth work and very pop appropriate vocals.
Playing into the group’s altruistic nature, Full Moon has been self-released as a “pay what you want” download on Bandcamp, so even if you have a dollar to throw down, it would no doubt be amazing to see such a talented and selfless group of artists get a little bit of monetary compensation for their amazing gift to the world. If your listening wades in the waters of indie-pop, alt-rock, hip-hop and even house their is a little something to be consumed within this set of five tracks, so go ahead and grab the full release.