Have you ever been hypnotized by music? Had the feeling where your brain cannot get out of a musical loop that almost makes you dizzy? That’s exactly what Moon Duo is trying to do. With success! If you never could have stand the music on Bowie’s Station to Station or The Residents’ deliriums, stop reading here.

If you’re in for some mind-blowing musical experience, stay with me a few more minutes, you won’t be disappointed.

This San Francisco duet, composed of singer-guitarist Ripley Johnson and singer-keyboardist Sanae Yamada are masters at the art of creating catchy indie rock that mixes your brain cells so much that you can almost get dizzy (or grow a headache) if you are not totally embracing their music. “Shadow of the sun” has been released on Scared Bones Records and is their third opus. They are joined by drummer John Jeffrey on this opus.


Free The Skull is very Velvet Underground influenced, with its noizy buzz, but stay way cleaner than the ultimate art rock band. Zero is the most melodic song of the album, based on a bass line that sounds a bit like early Cure songs with Beach House three-note type of keyboards melodies. Things calm down on In a Cloud, which is – as you probably guest it – dreamier. Johnson’s rhythm guitar is directly influenced by another side of the Velvets: their smooth chords progressions (think Oh Sweet Nothin’ or Sweet Jane). Slow Down Low is another Velvet influenced guitar riff, with heavier sounds. Moon Duo takes the time to set in place the mood in a longer than usual instrumental intro.


Impossible not to think of Blonde Redhead as well, simply because the mix of hyper cool music and whispered lyrics is also Moon Duo’s strength. The New York trio is stronger on melodies, though. Johnson and Yamada’s music will play with your mind on Thieves, where syncopated rhythm is played in a hallucinating loop, that feels like it’s going to be endless.

In the last months of 2015, Moon Duo has been touring heavily in Spain, South America and Far East with dates in Tokyo, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hankou and Beijing before flying to Australia. Hopefully they’ll play near you, soon.

Shadow of the Sun
(Sacred Bones Records, 2015)

-Genre: hypnotic indie rock
-In the same mood as The Velvet Underground, Blonde Redhead, Jonathan Richman

Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on their label’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.