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THE SOFT MOON

The Soft Moon

Criminal - Sacred Bones 15 Year Anniversary Edition

    Criminal, The Soft Moon’s fourth studio album, is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of ’80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself.

    Criminal marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration.

    Working with producer Maurizio Baggio at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, Criminal sees Vasquez further explore putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow.

    Sacred Bones is now repressing this favourably received record in a bunch of new colors in celebration of the label’s 15th year anniversary.

    “His bleakest - and most cohesive - music yet” - All Music

    “On his fourth album as The Soft Moon, post-punk auteur Luis Vasquez finally breaks from a whisper into a scream.” - Pitchfork

    “There are plenty of deliciously bitter pleasures here for anyone who similarly loves brooding in that blacked-out, candlelit bedroom of the mind.” - A.V Club

    TRACK LISTING

    01. Burn
    02. Choke
    03. Give Something
    04. Like A Father
    05. The Pain
    06. It Kills
    07. ILL
    08. Young
    09. Born Into This
    10. Criminal

    The Soft Moon

    Exister

      “The whole point of this record was to share every emotion that I feel,” says The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez. “No two songs are the same. It’s about existing in the world as a human being and experiencing many emotions and experiences throughout life.”

      And so hence the title Exister, a record rooted in the ecstatic joys and crippling lows that life can throw up and how just hanging on and existing is sometimes all we have. “Exister is my way of saying ‘I’m here, deal with it.’” Vasquez says.

      Sonically, this expression is a vast, expansive and potent one. The opening ‘Sad Song’, which unfurls with a dense brooding atmosphere, Vasquez describes as almost a ballad, while tracks such as ‘The Pit’ capture the opposite end of the musical spectrum, exploding as a thundering piece of industrial techno complete with gut-churning levels of bass.

      ‘Monster’ - a song that follows a human metamorphosis into an unrecognizable and destructive being - seamlessly combines a deeply melodic, almost electro pop, vocal hook with a slow build atmospherics to create something equally beautiful and unsettling. ‘Become the Lies’ explores the devastating consequences of being lied to by your own family and is a post-punk stomper, merging charging basslines, pummelling drums and snaking guitars, all of which combine explosively. Elsewhere the album runs the gauntlet of everything from ambient to dark wave - features ferocious guest contributions from fish narc and Special Interest’s Alli Logot on ‘Him’ and ‘Unforgiven’ - all while retaining that distinct tone that unmistakably The Soft Moon.

      TRACK LISTING

      1.Sad Song
      2. Answers
      3. Become The Lies
      4. Face Is Gone
      5. Monster
      6. The Pit
      7. NADA
      8. Stupid Child
      9. Him (Feat. Fish Narc)
      10. Unforgiven (Feat. Alli Logout)
      11. Exister

      Criminal’ is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of 80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.

      “Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty” Vasquez reflects. “The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.”

      ‘Criminal’ marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration. Taking krautrock's motorik beats and Post-Punk deconstructions and honing them into a hushed percussive incantation, The Soft Moon's self-titled debut album took shape. The album was released in late 2010 by Captured Tracks and was praised by critics and emulated by contemporaries.

      In 2012 the apocalyptic conceptual work of 'Zeros' emerged, shortly followed by Vasquez moving to Venice, Italy in 2013, acting as a catalyst for 2014’s release, ‘Deeper’. While previous albums were primarily instrumental records, where Vasquez’s voice was diffused amidst the music as another instrument, ‘Deeper’ marked the beginning of a new musical direction where vocals and lyrics became something more than a mere presence. ‘Deeper’ was a descent into the womb of childhood trauma, anxiety and fear, and although Vasquez survived this dark exploration of himself, he did not return alone.

      Working once more with Maurizio Baggio, who produced ‘Deeper’, at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, ‘Criminal’ sees Vasquez further explore putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow. The album is Vasquez's way of holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself and others, and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Thudding drum machines, screaming distorted guitars and barely-there vocal abstractions fed through a wall of effects. It's a delicate but perfectly achieved bout of melodic suggestions and visceral, white-hot emotion.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Burn
      2. Choke
      3. Give Something
      4. Like A Father
      5. The Pain
      6. It Kills
      7. ILL
      8. Young
      9. Born Into This
      10. Criminal

      Coming up on a year since their debut self titled LP release (one of the best albums of 2010, hands down!), The Soft Moon presents 'Total Decay', Luis Vasquez continues to conjure a sound fueled tempest that intoxicates with its own post-apocalyptic dust in this new EP!

      After two stirring 7" releases and the aforementioned debut album, it was apparent that Vasquez was digging his own niche, an intimate well-spoken whisper, carrying a heavy load of synths that creep and drums that command an uncontrollable pull from within. This intimate peak into another world, Vasquez' mind, has garnered a number of comparisons to some of the most iconic and influential bands of the post punk and krautrock movements.

      Live, the band takes on Justin Anastasi and Damon Way to help transform the listening experience cogently with an array of sound and light effects that translate the energy of the recordings. 'Total Decay' solidifies that the Soft Moon is on its own path, not to be compared. Just listen, hold the shadow of his hand on this journey into the darkness, as he whispers directions through the obstacles, to the light...


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Repetition
      2. Alive
      3. Total Decay
      4. Visions


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