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Luna Waves - Comedowns (Rob Muir)

9 July 2024

Comedowns is a well-suited title for the music that makes up Luna Waves fourth album, much of which is dream-like and lysergic, drifting and hallucinogenic. Music for those times when energy levels are so low that all you want to do is listen to music. And not just any music, but specifically music that will do the work for you, an effortless experience, music that will cocoon you in its sonics, which you can ingest by nothing more than the process of osmosis. Comedowns is a suite of music with all those properties.

I don’t want to give the impression that the music here is somehow unstructured and overly ambient. There are songs such as the opener, “Fragments,” which are easily tagged with more dream pop and drifting labels, but for the most part, the music walks a fine line between the delicacies of that realm and the more euphoric energies of the world of shoegaze.

Songs such as “Half Awake” even push out into more alt-rock territories, although the chiming jangle of guitar and the song’s cinematic scope is a constant reminder that there is a lot more musical depth, and “Sad Girl Canon” even puts me in mind of Cocteau Twins, sonically speaking and even in the vocal patterns, if not, for obvious reasons the voice itself. (The obvious reason is that no one will ever match Liz Fraser, nor should they try.)

“Remnants” wanders towards pop’s borders but is far too clever to be let in, although it could prove to be some sort of sonic Trojan Horse, sneaking into pop-land when no one is guarding the gate, “Fuzzy Dawn” is suitably hazy and harmonious and “Wish” sounds like The Beach Boys drifting in from deep space.

It’s a gorgeous album. It ticks all the right boxes and references all the right bands, makes all the right moves, and rides all the right grooves, for me at least, although I’m sure it will do the same for discerning music fans everywhere.