On their self-titled debut album, Seattle quintet Moon Palace embrace a style of psychedelia achieved not through hallucinogens and intoxicants, but a sobering awe of nature. It’s the sound of sunset-splashed desert vistas, of a full moon’s hypnotic glow, of frosty breaths on a crisp night. Or in the case of the climactic cut “Shapeshifter,” it’s the sound of an ocean ripple slow cascading into a tsunami.
Atop gently crashing drum rolls and dreamy guitar discord, sisters Cat and Carrie Biell harmonize in a tone that’s both heavenly and haunting, while Darcey Zoller’s omnipresent cello hum creeps in like a black cloud illuminated by silent electrical flickers. But even as the drumbeat tightens up into a tense thrust and a kick of the distortion pedal summons the storm, Moon Palace navigate these choppy waters with poise and grace, the song’s mesmerizing melody guiding them to safe passage like a lighthouse’s beam. -Cheryl Waters KEXP