Moonchy & Tobias – Atmosfere – Review

Moonchy & TobiasMoonchy & Tobias are a Pan-Atlantic duo making some hauntingly beautiful acoustic music. From their Bandcamp page – “Moonchy & Tobias pairs together Italian vocalist Pat Moonchy with American instrumentalist Todd Tobias. Join the duo on a playful, psychedelic ride through ever-changing musical landscapes.” The pair certainly takes their listeners on a journey with each song, making a concerted effort to offer a variety of sounds to offer. Their latest album Atmosfere is awash with acoustic psychedelia, and we’ve chronicled three of the album’s journeys below.

Moonchy & Tobias – Atmosfere

First up we reviewed “Atmosfere”, a pleasant romp through nature that begins with fingerpicked guitar and shaker, followed shortly by Moonchy’s vocals. Her singing is soothing and calm, the perfect complement to the relaxing guitar played by Tobias. Lush strings enter during a vocal break, enhancing the beauty of the arrangement. The song structure is probably best described as being variations on the same A section; the chords and melody are altered slightly but remain fundamentally the same. Rather than feel limited by this structure, the duo move comfortably within the sonic space that they create, painting a vivid and sonic picture with their music. The listener is practically catapulted to a lush green field on a picturesque sunny day, the result of the pastoral landscape created by Moonchy & Tobias.

Next, we reviewed “Dall’occhio”, which translates to “eye” in English. The song opens again with acoustic guitar, but this time the mood has shifted significantly, with Tobias playing slightly dark arpeggios augmented by warbly effects. Moonchy’s vocals then seep through the haze, like a siren cutting through an ocean mist. This time around the song structure is more clearly delineated in the classic AB/AB, and the guitar is joined by keyboard during a vocal break in the middle of the song. Tobias’ descending guitar arpeggios sound like they could be from the future or from the Renaissance simultaneously, adding to the general unease of the music. The song fades out as the guitar arpeggios repeat, leaving the listener feeling unresolved, a clever way to drive home the uneasiness of the song.

Lastly, we reviewed “Pioggia E Sale”, which translates to “rain and salt”. While employing a similar setup to the previous songs, this particular landscape is more atmospheric; which is ironic when considering that the first song was actually named atmosphere. Guitar and strings start the song, with Tobias playing an even more haunting melody than on “Dall’occhio”. Vocals enter in a lower register than previous songs, almost confusing the listener as to who is singing. Following a structure somewhere near AB/AB, the music inspires moments of hope, but these seem fleeting as dissonant harmony returns. Synth pads drive home the atmospheric soundscape of the song, buttressing the vocal changes. As the music again fades out, the listener is left to ponder the remaining tension.

Moonchy & Tobias’ latest release “Atmosfere” contains some hauntingly beautiful acoustic music, and we highly recommend taking this psychedelic journey.

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