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Katie Pham and The Moonbathers Voyager

The Moonbathers haven't changed the formula, but there's no need to just yet.

Released: 5 July 2017
Voyager

Released only four months after March's Parent's Evening EP, Voyager sounds like a companion piece, with a similar stock of Gaussian blurred guitars and enigmatic observations on relationships from Katie Pham. Despite the languid atmosphere, these are four tight tracks. No messing around. Guitarists Pham and Jack Athey resist the tempation to let the songs drift and overstay their welcome, while drummer Oliver Harrap knits the whole thing together in a satisfyingly easy-going style.

"Before I go, won't you stop and say hello?", Pham asks on 'Java Lava' (a play on the coffee brand...?), though it doesn't sound like she's losing sleep over the question. On the same track she expands her subject matter with some self-critique, noting that she's "sonically obsessed with every touch and every breath I emphasise," playfully drawing out the last word in a drawl. "People change / You don't say?" she sings on 'The Breeze Song', before declaring, "I'll stay the same." Her lyrics could be drawn from fragments of whispered conversations in the early hours, not dissimilar to the intimate dissections of The xx but without the doom and gloom.

Pham continues to explore familiar ground on closer 'Seeds', wondering whether "if it's you that I've been looking for, is it even worth the wait anymore?" over a gently chiming riff. As on Parent's Evening, the mystery in the group's music is born from the contrast between the carefree summer sounds and the words Pham is actually singing, which are more often than not imbued with uncertainty and doubt.

Voyager is coming out on limited-edition cassette and will be available at the 6 July launch party at Delicious Clam. They haven't changed the formula, but there's no need to just yet.

blakhandrecords.bandcamp.com

Filed under: #Pop