Melbourne’s MOONLOVER has today released his debut full-length album, Thou Shall Be Free throughOur Golden Friend / Island Records. Moonlover is the moniker of Melbourne’s Quang Dinh, formerly ofLittle Red. In tune with his occult pseudonym, Dinh releases all of his music in synergy with the Lunar Calendar, with this album release falling in line with today’s Full Moon.
The psychedelic pop album is laden with singles ‘Queen of Sheba’, ‘The Ooiee’ and title track ‘Thou Shall Be Free’. The eclecticism of the album journeys the listener through stories and experiences through time and space while weaving through Dinh’s subconscious. Written as an ode to observation of experiences around us, Thou Shall Be Free is the kind of proper record that tells stories through the fantasy of surreal psychedelic songs across to the great reveal of romance. Lyrically the songs read like poetry as the work in its entirety is a collection of reinterpreted nuances from the universe, including title track ‘Thou Shall Be Free’ that was gifted to Dinh by the great David Bowie who came to him in a dream. Deep in slumber, Dinh was visited by Bowie who sang to him the opening line ‘Oh, oh, oh oh, Thou Shall Be Free’, Moonlover awoke and wrote the rest of the song within hours, stylistically paying homage to late pioneer.
The Ooiee’ changes pace with a cool and collected melody abed a driving bass line and a hooking chorus. ‘Queen of Sheba’ is an offering to an ancient Ethiopian Queen, and is the perfect blend of pop functionality with intricate soundFX, trickling overdubs of colourful picking guitar. Upbeat ‘Borderline’explores the choices we make as carefree, quirky pop track. ‘Mindbender’ begins with distorted synths, moving into airy open guitar lines, to intricate and multi-dimensional vocal work. ‘Lazy Daisy’ is an airy, bittersweet love song with the summer breeze in hand. Introverted and sincere ‘On The Day I Was Born’changes pace with the piano introduction while ‘Mekong Delta Blues’ touches on Dinh’s family history, opening with a recording of Dinh’s father speaking on his experience migrating from post-war Vietnam.‘Wedding Day’ stylistically pays homage to 50s pop with clean arpeggio guitars, close harmonies and a Leonard Cohen-esque lyric that serves as a blessing and a warning. Laid back and easy listening‘Moonlover’ is about a midnight yearning for love.
The entirety of the album was recorded, produced and performed by Moonlover in his personal oasis Pink Slime Studios, sharing impressive recording credits with John Lee (Lost Animal, Beaches, Emma Russack) who was on mixing duties, with mastering by Joe Carra (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Courtney Barnett, Eddy Current Suppression Ring).
As well as the completion of his debut album Moonlover had a stellar 2017, signing with Melbourne labelOur Golden Friend / Island Records – also home to artists like RVG and Poppongene – touring nationally with Saskwatch on their album tour, and is supporting Angel Olsen in Melbourne this month.