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Based in Los Angeles, Moaning is a post-punk outfit whose bitter, vulnerable lyrics address personal problems and emotional distress. While their self-titled 2018 debut was a caustic noise-pop record, the band's sound switched to dark new wave on their second album, 2020's Uneasy Laughter.
Moaning is made up of Sean Solomon, Andrew MacKelvie, and Pascal Stevenson, three musicians who struck up a friendship after running into one another repeatedly on the Los Angeles gig circuit. The trio formed a number of bands over the 2010s, playing to crowds in venues in and around L.A. With shared influences such as new wave pioneers New Order and shoegaze act Slowdive, their sound ultimately came to fruition after Solomon sent MacKelvie and Stevenson some early demo ideas of the track "Don't Go." Experimenting with an expansive sound involving hard percussion, reverb-laden guitar work, and vocal melodies buried within fuzzy walls of sound, Moaning took on an altogether darker sound than previous projects with lyrics concerning love, loss, and nihilism. After getting more demos together, the group took their material onto the live circuit and shortly thereafter booked their own mini-tours across the West Coast. They also recorded and shot a video for "The Same," and the track caught the attention of producer Alex Newport (the Melvins, At the Drive-In). Newport offered to help record and engineer any future material, and before long the band were in the studio writing and tracking ideas for their first official effort.
Moaning's attitude, work ethic, and overall aesthetic caught the attention of Sub Pop, which offered them a record deal in 2017. The label put out the group's eponymous debut in March 2018. For the band's next album, 2020's Uneasy Laughter, they drastically altered their sound, replacing sheets of noisy guitar with cold, atmospheric synths while retaining the unsparing, self-critical lyrical themes of their first release. ~ Rob Wacey
- Los Angeles, CA
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