Review: Moon Racer - "Moon Racer"

Moon Racer - Moon Racer
(2016 Self-Released)

Named after the winged lion who governs The Island of Misfit Toys, Durham's Moon Racer composes effervescent keyboard melodies that stagger about on wobbly footsteps like those taken by the stop-motion puppet cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Her self-titled tape release is a haunting, understated affair: 3 tunes worth of gritty casio chord progressions dotted with warped melodies that peek from the sand like pink bits of beached clam shells. Reverb-soaked vocal harmonies salted with Tascam fizz wash ashore, turning stretches of coastline to gloomy mush.

"Starry Up" plows a traversable path through a blizzard's deposit of cottonball snow on the morning roads, a drum machine loop's snare splashing through fuzz like a tire that sends a swell of slush onto the sidewalk.

The spoon exhumes a mummified square of Shredded Wheat from its burial mound of added sugar piled at the bottom of a milk pond.

"Song of the Mogwai" looks to the mid-80s for its influences in puppetry - it's sleepy and minimal enough to have been parroted by one of Steven Spielberg's animatronic Gizmo marionettes, huddled around the keyboard that sits on the desk in your dimly lit room. 

Channeling the spirits of two family films set during the Christmas season, Moon Racer's new tape is a rainbow string of incandescent bulbs whose light ricochets off of the surface of the crust of ice that blankets your front lawn.