Moonface And Siinai – “Risto’s Riff” (Stereogum Premiere)

Wolf Parade might be returning, but that doesn’t mean that its leaders’ other projects are going anywhere. Dan Boeckner’s new band Operators are releasing their debut album tomorrow, and today, Spencer Krug is announcing a brand new Moonface LP. While his last few releases as Moonface have been solo affairs mostly comprising contemplative piano ballads, the upcoming My Best Human Face finds Krug once again teaming up with Finnish krautrockers Siinai, who previously collaborated on his 2012 album With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery. Here’s what Krug has to say about the project:

I called this thing My Best Human Face not only because that’s one of my favorite lines on the album, but because I sometimes don’t know who I am, or if I’m as kind and generous and happy as other people. The title speaks to the vague theme of identity-confusion that is loosely woven into the songs — a reoccurring theme I recognized only after the writing was done. It’s a confusion which I think exists for most of us, sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the campfire in the middle of our circle; we don’t have to stare into the flames. It’s simply not that important. At end of it all, these are good-time songs, meant to inspire good times in the listener. They were made joyously, with a stubborn love of music at their centre. And while some of the content might be dark or sad, the memories of making these songs brings only gladness and gratitude, and it’s their construction, not deconstruction, that I want to celebrate now.

That celebratory spirit is immediately apparent in lead single “Risto’s Riff.” It rocks harder than anything Krug has ever recorded under the Moonface name, riding a crisp motorik groove straight into an explosive chorus. And honestly, it’s exhilarating just to hear that voice fronting an actual rock band again. As Krug explains:

This song originated with a pleasingly simple riff from guitarist Risto Joensuu, hence the name. For a long time it had a down-tempo, nitty-gritty-rock’n’roll kind of vibe that ultimately left us unable to finish it in a way that we liked, though we weren’t exactly sure why. It was like maybe we were making a song for our dads, not ourselves. But then in the recording studio we changed the beat and started playing it really fast instead, and within an hour the music was finished and put to tape. And then we had a round of high-fives. Not literally, but emotionally. Like with our eyes. Eye-fives.

Have a round of ear-fives below.

My Best Human Face tracklist:

01 “The Nightclub Artiste”
02 “Risto’s Riff”
03 “Them Call Themselves Old Punks”
04 “Ugly Flower Pretty Vase”
05 “City Wrecker”
06 “Prairie Boy”
07 “The Queen Of Both Darkness And Light”

My Best Human Face is out 6/3 on Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here.

Moonface And Siinai