Album Review: Ava Luna—’Moon 2′

Posted: by The Editor

So far this year, two records came out that embody futuristic elements and space: Ava Luna’s Moon 2 and Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. The latter is about Alex Turner’s version of a casino that just happens to be on the moon. The first transports the listener into a different universe, offering unique mixes of disco, harmony, and style. Released last week, Moon 2 heavily explores late 80s synths, amplifies their R&B influences, and created an unforgettable Twilight Zone.

Opener “Accessible” has Purple Rain vibes—that is, the song notates the beginning of an experimental ride. It serves this purpose with twinkling futuristic melodies extremely well, smoothing over and setting the tone for the rest of the record. Swirling single “Centerline” is a true early disco-inspired synth meltdown. Vocals slide into a shockingly deep register, which is as chilling as it is exciting. Upon the funky dance tunes and harmonies, heavy themes in the record, the vibe is heavy and beating, already carrying itself to the moon.

“Childish” involves a plethora of beats—an invasive ding, finger snaps, drum pulses—and lyrics that aim at childish actions of someone else. It’s a fun play on words, and compared to “Mine” and “Walking With an Enemy,” there’s an enigmatic flow of soul ripping throughout the upbeat tempos. Clashing of all of these elements and adjectives sounds pretty confusing, but listening is a smooth experience.

Arriving on “Moon 2” is crazy wild. While the whole album sounds off in another dance-filled universe, this begins a grouping of songs that compete with one another about how intergalactic they can go. The star of “Moon 2” comes in the form of a large rushing wave, washing over the entire track, deep lyrics included. Everything is captured by this overbearing roar, and it’s kind of fantastic as it fades out into my song of the summer, “Deli Run.” Chronicling FOMO and late-night deli visits in NY, this song revisits earth for a second before “Set it Off” truly sets it off. Everything about the song rips, from the talented vocal range to the harmonic theme coming back. The song’s ending, however, has so much happening with its instrumentals that can only be described as entering a brassy, twinkling dimension of sound.

Ending with gorgeous “On its Side the Fallen” and “Moon,” the instrumentals take a break and revert back into a delicate tone. All in all, this album stands out above others this season just for how immersive it is. Quick and witty lyricism, beautiful harmonies, and progressive instrumentals gave an incredible hand in the production of experimental flourish.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Kayla Carmichael | @kaylacarmicheal

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