Published Apr 25, 2016There's been a lot of activity in the world of Wolf Parade recently, with the group's upcoming reunion tour and new EP, as well as Dan Boeckner's Operators releasing their debut, Blue Wave. Not to be outdone, Spencer Krug is getting in on the action with a new release from Moonface.
Since the project's debut in 2010, Moonface has changed shape with every release. Each record has featured a different set of instrumental parameters — organ, classical piano, Finnish Krautrock band — and never retreading old ground, at least until now. My Best Human Face, due June 3 on Jagjaguwar, finds Krug teaming back up with those aforementioned Finnish Krautrockers, Siinai, with whom he previously collaborated on 2012's Heartbreaking Bravery.
Despite the same players, My Best Human Face is by no means a rehash of that album's brooding, dramatic rock. "It's more fun!" Krug tells Exclaim! "It's not as angry or sad. There's still some darkness in there, for sure, but musically and lyrically, there's less complaining and more celebrating."
My Best Human Face was primarily recorded in Siinai's hometown of Helsinki, where Krug lived for a stretch until 2014. Finland is notorious for its lengthy, drastic winters — "it's just as cold as [Montreal] but it's twice as dark and you just stay inside all the time," he told Exclaim! in 2013 — but My Best Human Face was designed as a glimmer of light. "We recorded it in the winter and wrote a lot of it in the winter, but it's like we were making our own sunshine inside the jam room, because things were so literally dark outside."
The jubilance is evident: lead single "Risto's Riff" quickly launches with a rousing beat and a confident build with cheery backup vocals, a far cry from the melancholia of Krug's previous Finland-written works.
Eagle-eyed fans have also spotted another link to Moonface's past: "City Wrecker" is a reworked version of the title track from Moonface's 2014 EP. While the original was a downcast piano ballad, the full band version is "a lot more fun," according to Krug. "Lyrically, it's the same, the message is the same, but it's got a kind of groove to it that I couldn't help but include on the record."
The new record comes at a busy time for Krug. In December, he recorded an album with drummer/frequent Xiu Xiu collaborator Ches Smith; though the material has been put on the backburner for now, he says it will make its way to the stage.
Moonface and Siinai will play several short tours in support of My Best Human Face, starting with five shows in Europe this June. You can see the currently confirmed dates here, while Wolf Parade's reunion shows can be seen here.