Release Date: Aug 12, 2016
Record label: Fire Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The first official collection of new music to be released under the Moles moniker in over 20 years, Tonight's Music picks right up where 1994's Instinct left off. Curious, ramshackle, and unapologetically rough around the edges, the two-disc, 24-track set is more sprawling than it is ambitious, but like everything else that the enigmatic Richard Davies (Moles, Cardinal, Cosmos) lays his hands on, the results are, more often than not, mesmerizing. Recorded sporadically over a long period of time in Boston, New York, and Western Massachusetts, Davies carries the bulk of the proceedings on his own, but Sebadoh's Bob Fay, former Sugar member Malcolm Travis, Free Time's Dion Nania, and Jarvis Taveniere of Woods pitch in as well.
Like their peers the Chills, the Moles’ gently psychedelic, impassioned indie-rock strayed into the elemental. Now reactivated around Australian founder Richard Davies after interest was rekindled by a 2014 compilation, the band’s first album in 20 years is glorious. With so much indie-rock now beholden to commercial formulas, it’s a joy to hear an album that embraces dissonance and does not sound desperate for radio play.
Isit on the couch with The Moles, hoping my headphones will blot out the vacuum’s holler. I press play: “Oh mighty sun, light up the fire in the sky. ” Was the sound better this morning, me driver’s-seating my way to work with the janky Apple Classic shoving its unzipped, extracted lossy sounds through Civic speakers? “Oh mighty sun, light up the fire in the sky.
Richard Davies chose his band’s nom de guerre wisely, for, much like the subterranean mammal of the same name, The Moles are prone to surface infrequently and usually when you least expect them. Their oft-lauded 1992 debut Untune The Sky was recorded in Davies’ native Australia, but he’s been resident in New York for the past two decades; a period which has yielded just a second Moles LP (1996’s almost solo Instinct) and two luscious baroque-pop albums recorded in tandem with Eric Matthews as Cardinal. Davies’ third Moles opus Tonight’s Music was recorded in suitably haphazard fashion over the past 15 years and features contributions from highly-respected chums such as Sebadoh’s Bob Fay and ex-Sugar drummer Malcolm Travis.