There’s a warm and cozy feeling that radiates through the songs of Moontype’s new album Bodies of Water. It’s the kind of record where something is always happening, whether it’s a gentle and contemplative ballad to a frenzied rush of indie pop. The myriad of rhythmic and melodic shifts in these songs makes it so interesting, in some ways taking some notes from math-rock in how quickly a section can evolve. This makes Bodies of Water so compelling and exciting.
Bass player and vocalist Margaret McCarthy’s songwriting feels effortless, dreamy, sympathetic, and could make you feel her emotions as well as any great female songwriter can. She puts her heart on her sleeve through her dense lyricism and agile voice, easily navigating her falsetto into surprising turns. And her friends/band mates have her back at every turn. Emerson Hunton and Ben Cruz almost always play around with her shifts in rhythm, the riffs and drums mimicking every cadence of the vocals. These result in songs that sound locked in from the first second to the last, cohesion at its finest.
This is especially true in opener “Anti-Divinity” and “When Will I Learn”. McCarthy’s singing has a sense of restlessness to it, carefree and willing to go out of conventional rhythms without sacrificing the hook. It’s a fine line to walk, not something a disconnected band can achieve – which speaks to how unique and full of unique potential Moontype is.
I haven’t even spoken about how wonderfully heartfelt these songs are, which would have been enough to garner my praise alone. “About You” captures that feeling of infatuation with all its excited shifts and skips. “3 Weeks” is an acoustic folk song about young love that can melt my sappy heart for coming-of-age stories. One of my definite favorites is the single “Ferry”. Nothing short of distilled pure emotion, it tells the story of a dear friend who’s moving away and the anxiety it brings. And the opening lines say it all: “I miss you before you were gone / Friendship only last so long / When we grow we grow apart.”
On top of all of these great things – McCarthy also shows that she isn’t afraid of peering away from the boundaries of pop. “Blue Michigan” sings about heartwarming nostalgia while closer “Me And My Body” is a meta-cognitive song that blew me away in terms of awareness and creativity. Bodies of Water is a must listen. It’s fun, well put together and most importantly, it makes you feel.