Moody Beach: Moody Beach

- Moody Beach is the hazy indie-rock project of Sydney's Melissa Marie. It's also the title of said project's debut EP, consisting of four tracks of melodic, mid-tempo, slightly atmospheric guitar-pop. It's generally of a style that's fairly popular right now, with a slightly shoegazey, dream-pop veneer over the top of jangly indie-guitar songs. Part of what separates Moody Beach from many other acts mining similar territory is the slightly rough-hewn quality of the music here: while each sonic element seems carefully chosen and polished to just the right quality, there's still little bits of guitar buzz and studio noise left in the aural margins that help to give this release a bit of extra charm.

The other, more significant, thing that makes this EP stand out is the quality of the songs it contains, especially in the two singles, 'Vanilla' and 'All I Do'. 'Vanilla' opens the EP in appropriately moody fashion, with Marie's vocals smothered in cathedral-hall reverb and paired with drum-machines and fuzzed-out, discordant lead guitars. It's insistent and propulsive, but the perpetual forward motion of the music juxtaposes itself against the icy stasis of the vocals, seemingly frozen in mid-air amongst the comparative maelstrom. 'All I Do' is the warm afternoon breeze to 'Vanilla's pre-dawn chill: here the fuzzy guitar is less an ice-pick in the back of the neck and more a fuzzy sweater to envelope the listener. The vocals are still bathed in reverb, but the their melody is much more inviting.

The remaining two songs are a bit slower burn than the two singles. 'I Should Exercise' seems to split the difference mood-wise between the two openers, drawing the listener into it's sparse but inviting verses before bending their ear with woozy guitars in the chorus. 'Hawaii' goes full on dream-pop, eschewing any form of momentum and instead floating along, buoyed by a wash of blissfully warm guitar chords.

It's only four songs and barely 12minutes long, but Moody Beach is a solid opening salvo. The question is always whether a new act can follow up a strong debut like this with something more substantial, but for now we've got a decent little taster to whet our appetites.

- Cameron Smith.


Album Details

Album Title: Moody Beach
Artist: Moody Beach
Record Label: (Personal Best)