There’s always been something very special about vinyl. It’s not just that it sounds warmer and deeper than other formats, the sleeve and record have an organic, tactile feel that can’t be replicated. Released as a limited edition for Record Store Day, MOONtransmissions’ ‘Down By The Water’ encapsulates all that’s great about the format, from it’s silky sleeve to the blood red vinyl, it’s a delight to hold, and featuring two addictive tracks, it’s nectar for the ears.
Housed in a sleeve that looks like a still from a cool French film noir, this record will immediately grab your attention. Not in a violent way, but more like a ghostly presence on a dark winter’s evening and ‘Down By The Water’ emanates as if from the Deep South, with a voodoo inspired beat that’s very hypnotic in its repetition. Its rhythmic nature mirrors the listener’s heartbeat and it creates an intangible bond that locks us in tightly with the band. However, the real selling point are the vocals; they flow like a river of silk towards some infinitesimal point on the horizon. This bunch are a difficult band to pigeonhole and ‘Down By The Water’ inhabits a strange kind of area that’s all their own; the vocals are soulful, the beat is like some slow dance track, while the guitars are echoing and expansive and hark back to the band’s desert rock roots and conjure images of golden desert sands resting ‘neath a bruise coloured nowhere ending sky. Such is the power of ‘Down By The Water’ that it’ll leave a gaping chasm at its conclusion, and the only way to fill it is by pressing ‘play’ again.
If there was one band who you feel MOONtransmissions should cover, then it would surely be Northampton’s very own moody “goth-fathers”, Bauhaus. Originally appearing on their 1982 album The Sky’s Gone Out, ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ lends itself well to interpretation, and this version works precisely because MOONtransmissions imprint their own personality on proceedings. This is no mere facsimile, and the haunting keys and ethereal vocals, which waft from another another dimension, make for an arresting experience. Almost imperceptibly, layers of sound are added that wrap us up in a warm fuzzy ball, and one that will be hard to leave.
MOONtransmissions have been on the verge of national recognition and bubbling away for quite a while, and ‘Down By The Water’ is sure to bring them to boiling point.
- Down By The Water is released on 22nd April 2023 (available here).
- Official Website
- Down By The Water
- All We Ever Wanted Was Everything