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Mesmerizing noise and dire reality collide with gripping results on the remarkable debut album of Spacemoth, the brainchild of Afghan-American Maryam Qudus. Spinning a fuzzy web of tantalizing retro futurism, the San Francisco native deploys a host of vintage synthesizers, wrapping her gentle voice in a dazzling array of bleeping and sputtering sounds that recall the scruffy imperfections of Stereolab or Devo, rather than the gleaming, bloodless electropop of so many others. Meanwhile, her melancholy lyrics plead for relief from the madness of modern life. Shaped by a breathtaking melody, “Asking for You” laments being “a hollow shell, made to dismantle / using me, it gives you power,” while “Noise of Everyday Life” declares, “i can’t waste my days in fear,” concluding, “the noise of everyday / kills the joy of everything.” For all her burning despair, however, Qudus’ beautifully rendered songs are grounds for hope amidst the darkness.
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