sun 26/05/2024

Album: Nicole Faux Naiv - Moon Rally | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Nicole Faux Naiv - Moon Rally

Album: Nicole Faux Naiv - Moon Rally

Berlin-based sophisticate’s debut album evokes Continental Europe

Nicole Faux Naiv's 'Moon Rally': where spatial and temporal borders are irrelevant

Although Moon Rally has unambiguous musical roots, pinning down where it’s from is trickier. The album’s title nods to Air’s Moon Safari, as does a fair degree of the rhythmic chug and shimmering atmospherics. Sweden’s Radio Department come to mind. So do Belgium’s Antena and Estonia’s Maria Minerva.

Continental European then. And with a sense of a lineage too. But although most of the album is sung in English, two of its last three tracks are in Russian. The last, “Вчерашний день” ("Yesterday"), twins an echoey vocal and acoustic guitar with a keyboard wash: it’s different to what has come before.

Moon Rally is the debut album by Germany’s Nicole Faux Naiv. Based in Berlin, she grew up in Olpe, near Cologne. Her family’s background is Russian – Kazak and Kyrgyz. So the aesthetic blurring makes sense. Odd bits of the album also suggest a familiarity with the less-rock, more impressionistic side of the Cure-ish Russian band Agatha Christie (Агата Кристи).

All this means Moon Rally operates on multiple levels. It’s as much a summary of lived-through experiences – “Вчерашний день” evokes Mikael Tariverdiev’s soundtrack  music for The Irony of Fate – as it is a snapshot of when the album was recorded. That’s of course true for virtually every debut album, but the flavour of this one is so distinctive it occupies its own space.

All this also means Moon Rally encapsulates a world view where the barriers represented by borders – spatial and temporal – are irrelevant. Everything co-exists happily, with an enviable synergy. There’s no sense of one thing overriding another. The amalgamating elements are Naiv, her lyrics and her voice. She sings of memories, nostalgia and wanting to escape day-to-day life in a tone suggesting she’s just woken from a dream. Overall, it’s persuasive but up to the final three tracks there’s little tonal variation. One to watch.   


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