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Moonlady, Steffie & Haklar, Dennis: To The Universe

Although her name takes the lead here, a visit to the website of singer, lyrical composer and percussive force Steffie Moonlady reveals not just links, samples and more for the To The Universe album, but similar detail to more releases where she is featured working with her partner here, Dennis Haklar. The pairing are both credited with ‘compositions’ and therefore as Haklar brings guitars, citera, mandolin, synths and more percussion to this endeavour, so it feels like a true two-body collaboration.

I must admit that prior to this I hadn’t heard of either musician, so I put the slightly twee album art (which reminds of something Candice Night might utilise) to one side and stepped inside what is, for want of a better phrase, an ambient-folk experience. Moonlady’s voice is perfect for this setting, lush caresses of vocals much more interested in becoming one with the music than forcing themselves to the front, and while I’m sure she’s a skilled lyricist, I must admit that this aspect completely passed me by, so integral is the music to the voice and vice versa.

As you traverse the very New-Age named tracks (I couldn’t really describe any as ‘songs’) the journey does begin to seem slightly more important than the impact of the music and rather than feeling calmed by the serene sounds, I actually became a little overwhelmed by the singular nature of an album that seldom varies its reach.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a huge amount of skill employed here and some tracks do add a little more light and space as Haklar utilises the different stringed instruments at his disposal, but with most pieces having a similar undertone that sits beneath the lighter touches, whether they be voice, synths, mandolin or whatever, the effect can feel the same. And unfortunately, no matter the setting, I must admit that some of To The Universe begins to feel like backing music rather than something intended to fully hold the attention. In the right setting however, what this pair have created certainly does have an undoubted charm and a pure intention. Whether that’s enough to draw me back into this world on a regular basis, I’m not so sure.


Track Listing
1. Awakening
2. Ocean Moon
3. To The Universe
4. Dream Blossom
5. New Moon
6. Earth’s Wind
7. Great Spirit Moon
8. Tamparawa
9. Beautiful Child
10. Rainforest
11. Epilogue

Added: April 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: SteffieMoonlady.com
Hits: 346
Language: english

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