High The Moon – Doze

High The Moon – Doze

Today, music finds its way to listeners in an ever-increasing number of forms. You would think almost everyone would have got used to the idea that the internet is a place where everyone and anyone can make their presence known, in larger or smaller ways and indeed, I nowadays rarely consider the fact that I can communicate almost effortlessly with practically anyone, anywhere, utilising only a few keyboard taps. Then an LP such as Doze turns up, unannounced without any fanfare in my music player account, and it seems as if some of those facts regarding modern day communications need to be taken less for granted.

A member of Amsterdam-based psych-pop proponents Lola Kite, High The Moon is Keez Groentemanns’ solo project and basically, it is a stunningly realised album of alt.pop songwriting. A collection that can hold comparison with such luminaries as The Drums, Tame Impala, Thievery Corporation, any similar band you might care to name and, as it is so often these days, bands whose music exists primarily online rather than in the radio schedules or anywhere else, whose music finds an audience through a form of electronic osmosis rather than more traditional methods.

Now, of course I know that this is how it’s done in these times, and even writing this gives it away about my music reviewing having begun in an era before we really had the proper internet like we have nowadays, but as I listened to Doze, an album that I was playing entirely at random from a list of about 50 new releases, I began to reflect on ideas about causation, coincidence, the vastness of the electronic infotainment world, and other ideas about communication.

Partly this is because Doze sounds tremendous, not overproduced but very effectively performed. The piano echoes with depth and timbre, other keyboards sound like authentic woodwind instruments, the percussion clicks and taps with minimal effectiveness and the entire album has a mood, a presence that is sometimes produced out of music but which High The Moon retain with seeming effortlessness. And the songs match the quality of the music; the drifting arpeggios of “Living In The City”, the resonant profundities of “Keep Me From Dreaming”, the alt.folk and swirling electronica collision of “Wake Up” and, a song that I think as many people as possible should get to hear, the encapsulation of everything noteworthy about High The Moon that is “You Are Real”.

Doze was released about a month ago at the time of my writing this, in the second week of August, and already the songs and music of High The Moon are gradually, unavoidably finding their way into the playlists of those music listeners that appreciate quality alt.pop and that have access to the music platforms where Doze can be found. Nothing very unusual about that today, it’s just that while I was preparing this review it occurred to me how easily an album such as Doze could find itself sliding into obscurity, and also that if I hadn’t made a random listening choice a couple of weeks ago that I wouldn’t have spent quite so much time as I have humming and whistling the tune of “You Are Real”, perhaps the best song (or at least my favourite) on an album that’s an impressive performance from beginning to end.