Kansas city natives Via Luna have a particular signature to their sound that makes their latest release, Calm And Clear, an absolute gem. What makes Calm and Clear so special is the feeling of nostalgia on an entirely different planet. The territory is familiar, but the scenery has been refreshingly painted with a different type of brush. The album is exactly what its name implies; their calm, clear approach makes even frantic acrobatics a soothing normalcy. Here, one will find Japanese emo vibes, fusion licks slowed to a post-rock stature, and beautiful finger-tapped phrases.
Calm And Clear begins with ‘Sunspots’, an ethereal volume-swelling passage serving as the pommel horse for the upbeat second cut, ‘Pretend’. The soul awakening properties of this track makes it the standout for me. The bouncy 5:4 time signature in ‘RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!’ is delivered with tight, buzzy pinches on the snare, and gives the track a wobbling strut. The guitar work in ‘If You Can’t Vibe With The Peter Criss Jazz, You Must Be Dead’ has a chilled vibe not dissimilar to bands like Enemies, aire and the most recent work of CHON. The track itself has a sunny and brightly lit delivery, retaining the composure implied by the album title. The closer ‘Gordon Doesn’t Like The Name Of This Song’ has possibly the most electric song writing on the record. The piece has an abundance of intertwined guitars that effectively finish each others sentences and gives an impression that an esoteric language is spoken between them.
Overall, Calm And Clear has originality, artfulness, and pop validity. A pretty sketch from well-trained hand.
Progressive, math rock, tappity-tap, angularity, instrumental