Review

Moon Rise City’s latest EP, Relics of a Bygone, is drenched in nostalgia and introspective nuance

Take a gander through the eerie, ethereal and complex collection of Lauren Tracey’s past selves in Moon Rise City’s fresh new EP, Relics of a Bygone. It’s quite a trip. 

While Lauren Tracey hails from South Africa, Moon Rise City was born in Vietnam, where she met French guitarist Indy Laville. Their musical brainchild defines itself as an indie-pop situation, but there’s a darker, avant-garde edge to it which is what sets Moon Rise City firmly aside. 

As the title might suggest, Relics of a Bygone takes its cues from immersive past experiences. And Tracey dives in deep. While opener “Crawling Slowly” and closer “Ain’t It Strange” favour a light-footed, chiming, synth-washed approach, sandwiched between the two is where the real, dark, smokey magic lies. 

“Shadows of the Trees” is minimal and dreamy, evocative of night-time waterscapes, while the title track throws in some funk-infused basslines and enigmatic lyricism for good measure. Lyrically she speaks in poetry, nostalgic and perplexing in equal parts. “Suspicious Creature” employs the sort of sly circus-esque edge which might peg it as a Disney villain’s lead song, before “Unbound Yourself” comes around as, piano led and graceful as it urges you to do just that. 

Where the EP might fall a little short when it comes to clean cut production –  there’s the occasional sense of unrefined intensity – it makes up for in a moving, fascinating exploration of emotion, intrigue and sonic nuance.