[Album Review] Moonface - Julia With Blue Jeans On
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by Tiana Feng

moonface
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Release Date: October 29th, 2013
Label: Paperbag Records

Moonface is the project of Spencer Krug of such acts as Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rundown. In Julia With Blue Jeans On Krug sits alone by the piano and bears it all like never before.

The album was created in Helsinki, Finland. The opening track “Barbarian” sort of deals with the subjects of being an outsider, decorating it with beautiful piano flourishes. I don’t know why people who been openly comparing Moonface to Arcade Fire just because they both vaguely have songs about arks. Krug’s (“Everyone is Noah, Everyone is the Ark”) is his own. The trembling loudness of his voice is goosebump-inducing to the point of heartbreak.

In “Barbarian II” he declares himself a lamb, a metaphor for a gentle follower. A lot of religious undertone is found throughout the album. He might as well have recorded this at a church. Maybe he did? I don’t know.

In “November 2011” Krug declares, “set fire to my music, it wasn’t much good anyway”. In Julia I beg to disagree with him. However, there is the slightly coincidental fact that his 2011 release “Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hope” was not very good. I don’t think it was actually released in November though. Julia bshows Krug’s ability to be more vulnerable and emotional than any music he has contributed to before it.

As a pianist, I love the instrumental parts of “Dreamy Summer” that speak with as much feeling as the words themselves. His ode to Julia resonates in the title track. The empty room he is playing in only adds to the album’s sense of loneliness. “I’d say the only word worth singing is a name, and the only name worth singing is not God, it’s you.” In that moment, I wished my name was Julia.

Julia with Blue Jeans On isn’t really an album for the light-hearted but the emotionally distressed, to languish in something beautiful with Krug. Every time I listen to it, I feel slightly depressed but music is supposed to make us feel something right?