The Holydrug Couple – Moonlust – Album Review

Written by on January 27, 2024

The Holydrug Couple – Moonlust – Album Review by Joshua Reedy.


My copy: 2015 press by Sacred Bones Records.

Chilean duo The Holydrug Couple had already released an LP for Sacred Bones in 2013, though follow-up Moonlust managed to attract a much larger audience with boosted production and a heavier emphasis on chillwave-meets-psychedelic-rock. Falling victim to sleepy rhythms at times, the record does keep things moving with a broad collection of interesting sounds, though the performances ae never as dynamic as they should be.

“Atlantic Postcard” is instantly welcoming with sweet synth arpeggios and slow-pitch-bending chords ducking under grooving, trip-hop-ish rhythms. The relaxed mid-tempo jamming continues with “Dreamy,” contributing bubbling bass and aquatic, EQ-affected synths that sit strategically in the mix. “Light Or Night” brings a bit more energy but discards sonic adventure in favor of a slightly more dynamic rhythm. The high-class pool-party vibes of “French Movie Theme” are evocative of Tame Impala albeit less expansive.

The acoustic psych-tinged “If I Could Find You (Eternity)” feels like a stoned MGMT song, doing well by giving the music some breathing room via guitar/vox duets. The vocals in general are largely obscured and washy, mostly contributing to the desired atmosphere. Now borrowing from Beach House’s style of droning organ, “I Don’t Feel Like It” continues in lax style with washed-out cymbals crashing politely over sprinkled synth. The pacing starts to slip come “Concorde” with each song settling continuously into repeated mid-tempo grooves. “Baby I’m Going Away” stands out for highlighting the bittersweet romanticism of the lyrics, coating the vocals in a sweet delay for an added sense of longing.

Echoes of paisley-era psych can be heard in the acoustic track “Generique Noir” while “Submarine Gold” uses its simple structure as a canvas for assorted sound-tinkering. The triumphantly video-game-y instrumentals to “U Don’t Wake U” is aided by a nice vocal mantra but the final two tracks are largely too stuck in this gentle rhythmic formula.

Moonlust is fairly creative in its seemingly bottomless supply of synth tones, but its reliance on the same few drum patterns keeps it from branching out into far more interesting territory. Ultimately, it is not an album that demands such acute scrutinizing, as it is best suited for dozing off on a warm summer afternoon.



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