Being totally aware of Steve Skinley as the voice and piano lines of Familiars, much of the music he creates under the Moleville pseudonym feels very….what’s another word for familiar…comfortable, musically speaking anyway. But that’s fine, I love his main band and these solo recordings manage to take his core sound into some wonderfully new territory.
Whereas Familiars connect with the listener through sweeping soundscaping, elemental imagery painted with wide musical brushstrokes and the dynamic interplay of a four-man crew, Moleville looks you straight in the eye. If one conjures the majesty and expanse of the great outdoors, is unbridled and slightly wild, the other is a late night one on one conversation, more intimate, direct and succinct.
Okay, songs such as Vice catch a jaunty beat and Seethrough rocks a chilled New Romantic vibe but it is the lilting and haunting jazz of Silent Parade, the melancholic mood of Yellow Moon and swirling futuristic dream-pop of Old Rope which really define the potential of this solo route for me.
Even if you are not, already fam…err, acquainted with Steve’s regular musical vehicle, this is definitely a worthy addition to your record collection, yes, I still call them records…deal with it. On the one hand it is an unobtrusive collection which can sit in the background late at night or maybe just as a mood enhancer but once you begin to immerse yourself into just how wonderfully emotive and heartfelt these songs are you will realise that you have uncovered a real gem. It may not sparkle as brightly and obviously as some you may have seen but you will find yourself gazing into the myriad of subtle, shifting colours at its heart for years to come.