Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
The first thing that strikes you about Son Moon’s release You Live Forever is how colourful the album art is. The warmness of colours and natural aesthetic of the image isn’t something I’d usually expect from a release in the electronic music sphere, it looks almost like an acoustic or folk album at first glance. As someone with a preference for the night-time sky and the jagged city, this is definitely a change of pace for me. But as I found as I walked with the album – certainly a welcome one.
Your Time Has Come opens up with an echoing piano layered over a stretched spoken word piece. The song is remarkably melodic, with the piano continuing its riff, while the vocals drift in and out – before a simmering drum track kicks in, giving it a tighter structure. A choral sample enters during the second half, letting forth a booming warmth. I found the song evoked the cover art of the album perfectly. Depicting its competing sandy desert night and lush green day. Two figures paddling their boats across parallel streams in time with the music.
Electronic wind chimes bring in the second track Heaven’s Signal, an ambient cut with the looping chimes placed over an ethereal breeze of synth. 6 minutes pass by in a blur. A perfect track to chill out with, or even as an accompaniment to a meditative mood or exercise. Faint trumpet wafts through the song as it shifts into the next – willing us on our way.
Murmuring From Beyond runs to a slender 3 minutes compared to its forebears. With an electronic piano and harsher, more Vaporwave-y cut sample repeating. The piano work here is really the stand-out, with flashes of colour punctuating the main riff. The track builds with further synth work, textured in a strident way that contrasts with the previous two tracks before giving way to track 4.
A Dark Place displays a slight trap tinge, with a tapping drum beat at the centre of the song. Saxophone work that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Luxury Elite song toots along. The night-time mood of the track draws on cityscape and skyscrapers – a clear break from the more naturalistic styles of Your Time Has Come or Heaven’s Signal. It’s a welcome detour into a harsher, but still relaxing, ambience. As the song draws on, the fuzzy bassline rises to the forefront, balancing the song on itself as it slinks down dark alleyways. There’s a feeling to A Dark Place that sets the listener on edge slightly more compared to the other, more easy-listening tracks to the album. This is ramped up even further as the song outros to a discordant static.
This line of expression builds further with You Live Forever. With an aesthetic almost entirely removed from the earlier chillwave-esque songs. The track is a hazy space-ambient morass of fuzzing stars. We float on by as the electronics hash our ears – and a booming alien voice tries to contact us. High pitched melodies mix with the synth wash. The track leans on a progressiveness which shares a lot with IDM or more experimental fields of Vaporwave, before the track drifts into nothingness and out of sight entirely. A space-focused, galactic end to an album which started off exploring natures nooks and valleys, and then rose into the stars and beyond.
You Live Forever really takes you on a journey, and I’d highly recommend listening to it as a complete work from start to finish. Living up to its grand album title, it explores lush greens to empty space, the rise and fall of emotions is something that demands to be experienced by anyone interested in music that channels strong feeling and emotion above all else.