Amber Navran, Andris Mattson, and Max Bryk, collectively known as Moonchild, have released their fourth LP “Little Ghost” last September. Staying true to their pretty unique neo-soul sound, the trio will head to Europe in February, with just one show in Berlin (Privatclub, February 10th).
After their wonderful “Voyager” double-LP (2017), “Little Ghost” is also available as a Gatefold 2LP set, further strengthening vinyl’s reputation. The LA-Based trio, which we saw at Berlin’s Berghain Kantine a couple of years ago, are praised by everyone from Robert Glasper to Gilles Peterson. The fourteen tracks on the new album spread warmth, soul, and chilling sounds, eschewing every pompous and excessive bombast. With pieces like “The Other Side”, brimming with a piano-led, sophisticated pattern, and tracks like “Sweet Love” with its quirky synth and drum programming, favorite pieces change each time I listen to the album. Rhodes abound here as well, broken beats and Amber’s fay-like voice make this another cool listening experience.
Everything stays midtempo, sometimes a flugelhorn is thrown in (“Everything I Need”), and all instruments are played by the three, except viola, violin, and cello on a few tracks. Things move more towards R&B on “Money”, where Amber changes from singing to something more like aspirating. I really don’t care that her voice is pretty much alienated on “Get To Know It” because the beat and the atmosphere of the song make this a modern-day soul gem of the highest caliber. Make sure to catch this album on vinyl – the overall sound of the production can not be cherished by listening to the CD or, even worse, streaming via the usual outlets. Some pieces even take me back to the good old early 80s soul days: “Come Over” reminds me of some George Duke-produced tracks from that period in terms of mood and enunciation, easily transporting that spirit into 2020.
Make sure to catch Moonchild in a city near where you are.
1/30 Stockholm – Nalen Klubb 2/01 Madrid – Sala Clamores 2/02 Barcelona – La Nau 2/03 Cenon – Le Rocher de Palmer 2/05 Zurich – Kaufleuten 2/07 Zagreb – Boogaloo 2/08 Vienna – Porgy & Bess 2/10 Berlin – Privatclub 2/12 Nijmegen – Doornroosje 2/13 Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord 2/14 Rotterdam – Bird 2/15 Paris – La Maroquinerie 2/17 Brighton – Patterns 2/18 Manchester – Band On The Wall 2/19 London – Scala 2/21 Milan – Biko 2/22 Rome – Alcazar The tour will continue in the US in March.