Dark storm clouds clumped together in the sky as I sat down to listen to the Moon King’s latest release, Secret Life, for the first time. The wind whips back and forth as the clouds threaten to dump their content upon the city streets and wash away the pollen and other detritus.
The dreamy concoction that Toronto based Moon King gave birth to three years ago with Obsession I has finally been pulled out of the ether and solidified in this most recent release. The duo consists of longtime friends Daniel Benjamin and Maddy Wilde and it seems as if they took every single thing that has caused them pain and heartbreak over the years as inspiration for writing this record.
Secret Life comes in at just a hair over thirty-six minutes and is perfect for the fans of the dreamy, the sad, and American Beauty; specifically that scene with the plastic bag, a reminder of the beauty in everything. Benjamin and Wilde layer beautiful harmonies over a perpetual blend of clean and fuzzy guitars, rounded in by an oddly comforting electronic beat.
Opening track “Roswell” eases into the continual ebb and flow of the massive tidal wave Moon King has created on this Secret Life, beginning with a light strum pattern that bursts into an shuddering string of beautiful chords.The music speaks to the true nature of depression, a quiet, continuous throbbing that never seems to go away. This is seen on tracks like “Impossible”, where Wilde croons of the true fear that silently slithers in the depths of our consciousness, singing “I’ll wait for you/the choice is yours/I won’t choose loneliness/everything is so unreal.”
My favorite track in particular was “Threads”. Wilde’s sweet, angelic voice and Benajmin’s clear, punctuating guitar tone calls up memories of the beautiful Elizabeth Frasier and the talented Robin Guthrie. Wilde sings of a very distinct sort of fear, a sort of stain that isn’t meant to exist and is unable to be rubbed out by any traditional means. “Someone there/Don’t fall asleep/Dreams are bare/Under the sheets/The house so cold/It’s meant for you and me/Somehow trouble/Will find us here.”
Moon King has crafted a stellar record with Secret Life that will introduce listeners to the true effect that the bitter Canadian cold and what a lifetime of personal growth and loss can bring about. Listen to this record on a dark day when the rain is about to fall and be ready to remember… and there goes the rain.