Since the beginning of the decade, Ava Luna have been on a pretty breathless release schedule. But after Infinite House, their excellent 2015 album, they slowed down a bit. Its members went off to experiment with their own personal projects — Felicia Douglass had Gemma and Becca Kauffman focused on her Jennifer Vanilla performance art project and Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader continued their reign as go-to producers for a certain Brooklyn-centered music set, including teaming up for the watery pop band NADINE.
The group reconvened in the second half of last year for two separate recording sessions in off-the-beaten-path spots in Vermont and Massachusetts to work on what would become their fifth album, Moon 2. Straight off the bat, it’s a lot different than its predecessors. The band’s nervous art-funk twitches have been largely replaced by a subdued lounge vibe. Even when they do indulge in some of their former rambunctiousness, like on “Set It Off” or “Mine,” it’s done through a narcotic haze. The album’s much more of a mood piece than Ava Luna’s previous ones, which feels appropriate considering its aims to construct a separate utopia that fixes our own messed-up world.
Moon 2 is out 9/7 via Western Vinyl.