Moonbabies The Orange Billboard

[Hidden Agenda; 2004]

Styles: psychedelic indie pop enhanced with quirky electronics
Others: Sparklehorse, My Bloody Valentine, Mercury Rev, Beulah

Good things are coming from Sweden these days, such as The Orange Billboard from Ola Frick and Carina Johansson, collectively known as Moonbabies. And "a good thing" The Orange Billboard certainly is, because it's one of those rare records that has quality written all over it. It inspires and excites from the first note, and begs for repeated listens. The record can be compared to good literature, due to the fact that there is an urge for something that makes you feel at home. You'll want to pick your favorite book from the bookcase and ensconce yourself in a comfortable chair with a nice glass of brandy (maybe not the image that applies to most TMT-visitors, but you get the point). In simple terms, The Orange Billboard is music to come home to.

As with every good record, The Orange Billboard hints at many influences yet doesn't reproduce or imitate them. It simply takes the inspiration from a certain source (such as My Bloody Valentine) and shapes it into something unique and distinctive ("Slowmono"). Moonbabies certainly haven't restricted themselves to a single style. Diversity is omnipresent, from sweet lullabies ("Wyomi") and Cat Power-type ballads ("Over My Head") to electronic instrumentals ("Jets"). It is, therefore, very difficult to pinpoint a single artist that resembles Moonbabies. The only musician that springs to mind is Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous. That same unspoiled, almost unworldly habit of ignoring every musical trend and making your own unique music, without compromises, is a characteristic that Moonbabies tend to share with the lone cowboy from Virginia.

Certainly, not all is so excellent on The Orange Billboard. The instrumentals, for instance, do not match up to the songs with lyrics. In general, however, this record surely deserves a flight to Stockholm only for the purpose of getting the record in a local store. Nonetheless, the import will do in the meantime.

1. Fieldtrip USA
2. Sun A.M.
3. Over My Head
4. Crime O' the Moon
5. Jets
6. Summer Kids Go
7. Forever Changes Everything Now
8. Slowmono
9. Wyomi
10. The Orange Billboard
11. You Know How It Is