Many times, creative endeavors like music are built up around a question, either asking or answering. Self-proclaimed Orchestral Space Pop indies Miracles of Modern Science is in the former category, seemingly asking the question, “How far can we possibly push indie music off the edges of musical experimentation?” Though I’d personally answer ‘pure ambient’, the MOMS seem eager to push even further, mixing gracefully atmospheric elements into an upbeat yet sometimes dreamy, sometimes folk-y ballads. Taking classical stringed instruments to a rock band fight works for this quintet in unexpected and rather challenging ways.
The best advice I can offer when listening to the MOMS is to really listen to their music. Don’t put it on in the background and leave it running while you wash your car or something. Don’t go into their Dog Year LP expecting to get a head-banging thrash-fest, either. These guys make it their mission to be different, and the best way to find all the layers is to delve. There’s texture to their songs that takes all sorts of different traditions and mixes them into a whole far greater than the sum of its parts. At the risk of sounding outrageously pretentious, theirs is difficult music to decipher, but well worth the effort.
Take their song ‘Space Chopper’, probably one of their songs closest to regular pop-rock music. Lots of drum banging and cymbal crashing and repeated refrains. Except there are segments of mandolin solos that sound like you just stepped into a Japanese orchestra. And then you switch smoothly into more energetic fare, like an unplugged surfer rock set. And then you get patches with ethereal whistling in the background, highlighting the breathy vocals with watery nature sounds not unlike birds in the far distance. The mood switches half a dozen times or more in one song, but it blends so well and hangs together in ways I might have thought impossible. Difficult, but rewarding.
Check out this acoustic version of ‘Luminol’ off their latest LP, Dog Year:
Similar Sounds: These guys sound to me like some crazy mix of folk, classical, and ambient – maybe a touch J-Pop in places too – so it’s tough to give a recommendation on this axis. If you want to know what these guys sound like, you’re going to have to track them down, because they are – dare I say it – too indie to categorize cleanly. Congrats, MOMS, you’ve killed my musical genre filing system, I hope you’re proud of yourselves.
Final Thoughts: If you can listen to their Secret Track and not get freaked out, you’re in for an esoteric treat. Even though the instruments are old school, the MOMS aren’t afraid to try new things and dive into the deep end of fringe indie music with a unique style forged from divergent musical ideals.