Masterful instrumentation, intentional artistry

Indie-Pop Duo Moon Rise City relishes in their debut sultry, pop fusion EP, Relics of A Bygone, out now. This EP – intelligent, rich, and thought-provoking – showcases the duo’s ability to disrupt the modern music scene.

South-African singer-songwriter Lauren Tracy constructed these existential stories and brought them to life in collaboration with her partner, French/Vietnamese guitarist Indy Laville. With influences ranging from mellow oldies to the psychedelic, soulful rock of Khruangbin, Relics of A Bygone embodies a profound soulfulness and wisdom while simultaneously delivering a cutting edge style that absolutely enthrals listeners. It is clear after just the first track, that the masterful instrumentation, intentional artistry, and undeniable style showcased on this project came from artists producing work of a calibre beyond their time; Relics of A Bygone is undoubtedly a project that is more than worth listening to.

Inspired by Tracy’s personal experiences, this collection of records represents snapshots – or ‘relics’ – of her former self; she wrote and developed these songs over the course of years. Each track is inspired by significantly dark or moving moments in the songwriter’s life that had a profound impact on her.

Tracy’s eloquent lyricism serves as an unshakable foundation for these tracks, yielding an introspective starting point for her husky, honeyed vocals. It is clear that her performance – while polished and seasoned – embodies the passion and soul of an artist who is unafraid to embrace every ounce of pain, pleasure, and growth. Indy’s masterful musical contributions, in addition, invigorate each track with decadent instrumentation. Embellished with layered guitars, atmospheric synths, and textured percussion, every element of these songs comes together in a striking marriage of refined artistry and bursting-at-the-seams personality. This project was made in collaboration with British producer, Benjamin James (InQ International, Vietnam).

Relics of A Bygone is composed of 6 unique tracks tied together by elements of rumination and warmth. The EP opens with “Crawling Slowly,” a dynamic recount of the entrancing nature of an up-and-down, toxic relationship. This track does an excellent job of setting the tone for the EP, immediately drawing listeners in by the delicate, emotive guitar and dazzling synths. “Relics of A Bygone,” the title track of the EP, showcases a darker, smokey sound in which Tracy delves into feelings of loneliness and isolation. On “Unbound Yourself,” downtempo beats, richly layered guitars, and psychedelic synths provide the perfect platform for Tracy’s emotive vocals; inspired by an eye-opening story about an experience with a Shaman, this track centres around finding yourself after feeling lost – reclaiming your life after hardship. “Ain’t It Strange,” a warm conclusion to the EP, delivers a comforting reminder that change is inevitable. Sweet, thoughtful, and hopeful, this song gives listeners permission to find comfort and healing in the unknown future.

This project – a culmination of the duo’s talents – encapsulates a colourful spectrum of musical and cultural influences. The travel-centric, multicultural lifestyle the two musicians maintain shines bright through their art, yielding a dazzling kaleidoscope of expression that embodies even the most subtle details of every experience. Written throughout the trials of adolescence and recorded years later, the creative process behind this EP reflects a profound quote from Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard: “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

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