After following the lead-up to the newest Blood Cultures project LUNO, it was natural to get excited as a longtime fan of the New Jersey experimental artist. With each single released, there was a conscious shift of sound, but also of identity. Far from being a static performer, Blood Cultures' shift from complete anonymity to a story of heritage as a Pakistani-American has been a beautiful thing to watch come to life over the last several months. Finally convalescing into an extremely topical narrative that gives the backbone to their new project, LUNO is a feast for the eyes and ears with multiple music videos providing additional storytelling to a knowingly impactful project.
LUNO is different in many ways to prior projects Happy Birthday and Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs. Focusing more on the darkness stemming from self-acceptance, there is a more positive undercurrent in the project than the last several projects by the act. Don't be mistaken though, there are still plenty of delightfully disturbing and experimental trademark set pieces consisting of rambunctious synth stabs and face-melting sub-bass. Lead single "Beneath the Moon & Me" is a classic offering, showcasing the duality of our personality with beautiful piano breaks amongst a sea of rattling synth bass. "Keeps Bringing Me Back" is an unnervingly Jungian track that does what Blood Cultures has become known for; explore uncomfortable truths buried deep within our psyche while still allowing us to hum along with them while they do it.
With four new tracks amongst four previously released singles, "Cabin Fever Freestyle" is one of the handful of newly released tracks on the project and it really shines as a standout on LUNO with delicious indie-pop stylings that focus on the project's themes of self-acceptance. "Graveyard Vibes" is an aptly titled creep-fest that will make a fine addition to your next Halloween party playlist. "Deep Sea Diver" is a ballad that hits all the right notes and delivers what feels like a surprisingly Summery track for the frequently quasi-morose performer. Rounding out the new tracks on the project, "Andromeda" is a melancholic and contemplative bop that again stretches the sonic boundaries of what Blood Cultures has become known for, further affirming the fact that the genre-bending artist can never be boxed in to one sound or idea.
If anything is readily apparent from LUNO, it's that Blood Cultures are still a master of their craft. Whether generating calm and inspired indie-pop or thoroughly jarring experimental soundscapes, the deft hand of the Pakistani-American act guides the listener through a more firmly realized narrative landscape than ever before.
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