If this looks familiar to some of you, well, it should be. I featured Mood Rings and their debut EP Sweater Weather Forever as an mpFree last month, highlighting the opening track “Year of Dreams”, a mellow and melancholic slice of Sonic Youthfulness that makes me all warm and mushy inside. Since then I’ve just about devoured every single audible element offered up by those twelve and a half minutes of music. Each of the four tracks has at one point or another become a favorite of mine, each showcasing a different side to Mood Rings yet still strongly connected by the band’s core competency, musicianship, and seriously killer hook writing skills. Take “Indian Hills” for instance:
[MP3] Mood Rings – Indian Hills
“Indian Hills” begins so unassumingly that you might just gloss over it… but it’s in that tempered start, burgeoning build-up and viciously harmonious chorus that follows that makes it such a ridiculously immense track. It’s got just enough mystery to warrant repeated listens (32 for me, no joke) and embodies that magical aura, that je ne sais quoi that turns pop songs into crack rocks. And whether Mood Rings are smoking it or merely cooking it up, I want in on what they’re serving. I want those delicious magic crack beans.
[MP3] Mood Rings – Yellow Teeth
“Do you want to know?” opens “Yellow Teeth” in a silky walk-up delivery smooth enough to melt chocolate. There are some songs that make you dance, some that make you nod your head, and those that give you more of a bob. This is one of the latter, an endearingly clumsy, charming slice of lofi pop pie, covered in thick syrup of haze and reverb and poptimism. Like “Indian Hills”, “Yellow Teeth” is sublimely simple in its structure, yet there’s a depth to the noise that makes fuzz much more than static and endlessly worth exploring. The final track, the aptly titled “Washer”, is a perfect example of such promising scourability .
[MP3] Mood Rings – Washer
Emerging from a whitewash of guitar feedback and delay, “Washer” commences as the band’s debut swan song, chugging along like the best krautrock copping tracks of Mood Rings’ contemporaries which, through gloriously ambiguous repetition, literally seep into your heads (much like Deerhunter’s “Little Kids”, perhaps that band’s densest pop song). By the end of the EP it’s so easy to forget that you’ve only been jamming out for 12+ minutes. Sweater Weather Forever seems more a complete, coherent thought than 75% of full albums that come out, a near-perfect little nugget of wonderfully dense, blissful music.
Download Sweater Weather Forever for free and listen to the best 12 minutes of music you’ll have heard in a while.