Moontype - Bodies Of Water
Chicago’s Moontype's debut album on local label Born Yesterday documents travel, insecurity, friendship, and the titular element - all of which are representative of the band members’ strong connection to place and to one another. “Being rooted in the landscape became important to me while studying geology, which completely changed how I think about the world,” offers songwriter, vocalist and bassist Margaret McCarthy of the album’s central themes.
Margaret grew up outside of Boston, playing piano, singing in choirs and writing on guitar - creating knotty, riot grrrl-and-hyperpop inspired songs for bass and voice, as well as noise soundtracks for art installations. Inspired by artists like Adrianne Lenker and Gillian Welch, she recorded the EP bass tunes at home in an apartment over the town’s optician, releasing it upon graduation. A week later she migrated west to Chicago, where she began making music with guitarist Ben Cruz, and then drummer Emerson Hunton, forming the three-piece that is now Moontype.
Moontype-as-trio gigged around town, eventually embarking on a tour in Emerson’s Prius. On that trip, they felt the music morph into something living, and the care and trust between them intensified. They decided to put together songs for a record, recorded at the end of 2019 with Jamdek Recording Studio’s Doug Malone. While Margaret’s skeletal demos still informed the bulk of Moontype’s full-band debut (some of which are re-recordings of bass tunes cuts), the resulting arrangements are songs reborn and strengthened by the three musicians’ absorption of one another’s ideas.
On Bodies of Water, Margaret’s soothing, unadorned alto is often peppered by the gliding, eerie harmonies of her bandmates. “We love the act of singing together,” explains Ben, who describes it as “connecting and grounding and wholesome.” Of the complicated rhythms that sometimes result, “any mathy moments are based on how the lyrics fall naturally, which feels like it frees us up from having to stay in one time signature,” says Emerson. “Rhythmic elements never feel like they’re being added in, more like they’re already there and we just float on through.”
Comprising elements of mathy-post-punk, epic-pop and bittersweet bedroom-songs, their music was greatly influenced by the DIY scene that welcomed Moontype to Chicago - including, according to Margaret, the “wild harmonies” of Ohmme, the “deadpan explanatory rock” of Ratboys, and the “luxe math rock pattern music” of The Knees. Working at beloved venue Sleeping Village inspired Margaret’s observational vignettes; “We are sitting at the desk and you are mixing all the bands,” she reports in '3 Weeks,' gently admitting, “I am trying to have fun and I am trying to get paid” in a world of bikes, trucks, and velvet.
When Will I Learn
When You Say Yes
Ferry 8. Blue Michigan
Stuck On You
Me And My Body
- US import
- Includes fold-out poster/lyric sheet
- LP pressed at Smashed Plastic in Chicago on opaque metal-blue vinyl, exclusive to indie stores
- Contains download coupon
also on Born Yesterday Records:
Spirits Having Fun - Two LP
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