What On Earth is indie dream pop duo Moon Panda’s debut album, following their 2020 EPs Make Well and Pastel Pool, and a number of digital singles released via Bandcamp.
Hypnotic and soothing, What On Earth provides some guidance for living in a troubled, frenetic world: in accordance with the instructions on “Slow Drive” – “focus on the yellow lights, try to calm down”. It’s a standout track (originally on the Make Well EP), taking the listener on a trip from town to country: “try to feel the breeze/the calm washes over me/I heal on my own”. “Vacationer” also takes us on a road trip, “a long, long journey”, written after a band adventure in America as a result of the cancellation of the SXSW 2020 conference and festival. It’s an appealing, temporary break from reality
Nature is a strong influence on the album. The sensual vocal on “Animated Forest” suggests we consider immersing ourselves in the wild. “Anemone” flowers in warm and luxurious sound. The minimalistic “Aquarium” uses bass and the occasional zingy effect to head into the depths. “Moonrise” replicates a lunar pull through rhythm and a repetitive instrumental line. “Rabbit” (from the Patel Pool EP) approaches love in the skin of an animal, loving “like a rabbit loves the fear/like it needs something to hold onto”.
The Moon Panda landscapes on What On Earth include the mysterious “Meteorites”, the delicate “Islands” (with what sounds like an inhabiting cat),” and the languid warmth of “Cloud Watching”, which sits back to lament inhibitions, wishful thinking, superstitious thoughts, dumb decisions. It’s clear this particular panda belongs in space, as the trippy “Falling” demonstrates with its slow and luxurious sound and zen attitude.
Moon Panda are made up of Maddy Myers (vocals & bass guitar) and Gustav Moltke (guitar), with Josh Cabitac (drums and percussion), George Godwin (keys and synthesizer) and Alex Fischel (keys and synthesizer) joining them for the album.
Note: What On Earth is available on 12″ yellow colour vinyl, which includes an exclusive bonus track, the decidedly electronic “Submarine”.
Label: Fierce Panda Records
Release Date: 04 MAR 2022