- Heartbreaking Bravery
- Yesterday's Fire
- Shitty City
- Quickfire, I Tried
- I'm Not The Phoenix Yet
- 10,000 Scorpions
- Faraway Lightning
- Headed For The Door
- Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips
- Lay Your Cheek On Down
Spencer Krug has made another record under the name Moonface, this time with the help of some new friends. The third product of an ongoing series of changing collaborations and approaches to tune-making is called With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery. Surprise, a two-part title. Let's bust in to this brothel one door at a time.
Siinai is the Finnish band Krug worked with on this album. They live in Helsinki, a beautiful town of extremes: dark, light, cold, steamy, stoic, drunk. Krug met Siinai when their former band, Joensuu 1685, toured with Wolf Parade throughout Europe in 2009. Friendships were born.
Over the following year, Joensuu 1685 went on hiatus, Siinai was formed and Krug unexpectedly received a copy of their first album, Olympic Games. Siinai could safely be described as progressive kraut rock. Their songs are long and heavy, often gorgeous, repetitive, with slow subtle hypnotic changes that bring to mind a single cell splitting into two. Also of key interest to Krug at the time: they had no vocalist.
Krug asked if they wanted to make an album together, a collaboration wherein Siinai would perform the meat of the music, and Moonface would take care of the vocals (and ultimately a few licks on the keyboard). Siinai agreed. They started recording their rehearsals and sent the rough ideas formed in their Helsinki jam space to Krug in Montreal. The process continued: Siinai wove the baskets, laid down the coloured straw, while Moonface painted the eggs.
In August of 2011, Krug arrived in Finland and the new collaboration started restructuring the demos to fit the vocals, as well as writing new songs from scratch. Big beats boomed. Colours burst. Krug's addiction to melody and pop music met Siinai's love for simplicity and their rare patience for music that slowly evolves, and something somewhere in the middle was created. It was a compromise that everyone enjoyed making.
The lyrical theme of this album is heartbreak. According to Krug, it was not planned, but became obvious halfway through the writing process. Some recently battered, still mildly swollen heart snuck its way into the first lyrics written, so he went with it. He wrote songs based on his own experiences with heartache, stories told to him by friends, and drummed up scenarios of ill-fated love that were absolute fiction. Altogether, the inevitability of life's flawed and failed relationships, the shitty feelings we feel as a result, and the people we become (ugly, brave, violent, crawling like babies back toward the womb) while trying to deal with those feelings are the ideas explored in these songs. It is not a particularly original theme, but one Krug felt worth digging into, perhaps deeper than he ever has before.
If there is a place that is beautiful only because it's too dark to see whether or not ugliness exists, that's where you'll find these songs and their characters. A place where the cry for unrequited love is rich and silky. Where falling bodies hit the ground in time with the synthesizer's arpeggio, while old men hold out their guitars to disinterested young lovers, so that they might study the dark-red patterns in the grain. A place where Moonface stands on a sidewalk not wanting to go home, not wanting to make his flight, doesn't hail a cab, then picks up his suitcase and walks back into the hotel.
(JAG210 released: 04/17/12)