Uneasy Laughter 

Sub Pop

Dim the lights, crank the synths, shelve your inhibitions and prepare to fall in love with Moaning, and then lose them. It’s a classic pop song plot, but this story has legs.

Warmed by a collective chorus, the chilly opening cut “Ego” delivers thicc beats laced with disaffected vocals and intuitive nonchalance. Out-of-pocket and off-the-cuff, Morrissey-esque vocals preach against The Creator while pitting artistic narcissism against emotional empathy. 

Confronting the mod stranger in the mirror, Moaning veers into bluish baritone hues before parting the curtains of silence with a nervous gasp on “The Stranger.” Overwrought by the restless amphetamine momentum of “Running,” reflexive tempos and tentative truths lead the L.A.-based trio to draw their own conclusions on the future-drone drama “Connect the Dots” and twitchy “Coincidence or Fate.” 

Pretense blows away like clouds chased across the mountaintops on “Fall In Love” as the lush reverb of “What Separates Us” and silky smooth complexion of “Saving Face” wipe clean any remaining points of contact.

Channeling the Parlophone purity of The Pet Shop Boys, Moaning makes their own sound bed using immaculate high-thread count linens and the downiest of fillers. The art of psychic repose never sounded more chic.

Best Track: “Ego”