I think with a name like Art Moore it conjures up an idea that this artist may be a singular person. Imagine the surprise when it’s actually a three-piece consisting of Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts and Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks. They’re a group that got together with the idea that they’d create music for film and TV projects, instead, we have their self-titled debut album.
The album is a collection of gorgeous, lurid synth and guitar songs with Vick’s folksy vocals grounding them in a way where they’d other feel otherworldly. The album kicks off with pastoral sounding “Muscle Memory” followed by the lush “Sixish”. It isn’t until “Snowy” that wintry synths ping off Vick’s vocals. It’s a brilliant piece of pop that lives up to the song’s title. “Bell” is a lovely twangy slow dance that finds vocals piling on top of one another to create an unforgettable effect of a room coming together in unison.
“A Different Life” feels unlike anything else on the album’s first half. It’s built on a slow building, throbbing beat, synths gliding into one another with dreamlike vocals dancing across the sound beds. It’s an entirely different shade than what Art Moore conditions you on the first half of the record. Similarly, “Habit” works hard at confounding expectations, where Vick’s vocal takes center amongst some sparse electronics before absolutely crashing in the album’s chorus. Sounds refract against each other, eventually building to an otherworldly cacophony before reaching the song’s end. It’s cool to hear the band stretch out this late in the album.
If Art Moore’s debut gave the impression that it was starting a little slower and more deliberate, by the album’s endpoint the band is signaling that they have greater ambitions with their sound. “Something Holy” feels a little darker, with the synth drips sounding a little more sinister, each hit feeling like there is something around the corner. But then, suddenly, it seems to resolve with the credits-roll vibe of “Inspiration and Fun”. It’s a shining ballad, full of lightly cresting guitars and breezy ‘ooh-ooh’ vocals.
Art Moore may be a group that came together with a specific intent in mind, but with the amount of talent and imagination they show here, there’s no limit to what they’re capable of. It’s going to be exciting to find out what shape that takes next.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media