11 Songs, 1 Hour 11 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The first two Moon Duo releases were casual affairs that succeeded, at least in part, because Wooden Shjips’ Erik Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada adopted a relaxed, low-stakes approach to music-making. This seemed to encourage instrumental spontaneity and musical exploration, blending the simplest of rock 'n' roll chord progressions with the metronomic pulse of Krautrock and extended guitar excursions. On Circles, Moon Duo continues to employ these techniques, but its approach is decidedly more rigorous and its songwriting and production are more polished. Circles is unquestionably Moon Duo’s most accomplished album to date, though it lacks some of the gleeful impulsiveness that made earlier efforts like Escape and Mazes such a pleasure to listen to. That’s not to say that Moon Duo’s newfound seriousness hasn’t brought its own share of rewards; the propulsive “Sleepwalker," for instance, might be its most fully realized song to date, while the album’s title track is an imminently danceable marriage of the barbed noise pop of ‘80s acts like Spacemen 3 and the experimentations of early electronic pioneers like The Silver Apples.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The first two Moon Duo releases were casual affairs that succeeded, at least in part, because Wooden Shjips’ Erik Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada adopted a relaxed, low-stakes approach to music-making. This seemed to encourage instrumental spontaneity and musical exploration, blending the simplest of rock 'n' roll chord progressions with the metronomic pulse of Krautrock and extended guitar excursions. On Circles, Moon Duo continues to employ these techniques, but its approach is decidedly more rigorous and its songwriting and production are more polished. Circles is unquestionably Moon Duo’s most accomplished album to date, though it lacks some of the gleeful impulsiveness that made earlier efforts like Escape and Mazes such a pleasure to listen to. That’s not to say that Moon Duo’s newfound seriousness hasn’t brought its own share of rewards; the propulsive “Sleepwalker," for instance, might be its most fully realized song to date, while the album’s title track is an imminently danceable marriage of the barbed noise pop of ‘80s acts like Spacemen 3 and the experimentations of early electronic pioneers like The Silver Apples.

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