words by tom johnson
photograph by reed benjamin
Owen Ashworth’s Orindal Records has carved out a quiet space of its own in the world, focusing on small pieces of magic, most of which fit in to the country/alt. country genre; from Julie Byrne’s astonishing debut record, to Friendship’s recent subdued masterpiece. It’s both interesting and impressive, then, that the label seamlessly finds a new avenue to explore with a new tape release from Durham, NC bedroom-pop artist Moon Racer, who releases the eight-song ‘Is It Really a Secret?’ on April 20th.
Recorded, mostly, using vintage Casios and a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder, and taking their performing name from “the winged lion who rules over an island haven for misfit toys in the 1964 stop-animation film, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, there was always a chance that whimsy could get the better of these recordings, but these indelibly pretty songs are packed too full of heart for such things to even enter the conversation. Announced last week over on The Fader, with the sharing of lead track “New Crush”, the project grows a little more today with the unveiling of fleeting new track “Friendly Ghost”, which we’re very excited to share below.
Led by soft drum-machine beats and waves of gentle keys, the track is gently captivating from the outset, the tender vocals which fade beautifully in to the elegant background, pertinently shaping the whole mood of the track, offering a sense of listless detachment that disappears just as you find yourself fully drawn in to its world. The whole thing is released on April 20th – with pre-orders available here – and you can stream the new track below right now.