The Soft Moon has today announced his signing to Sacred Bones and confirms details of his fourth studio album Criminal, set for release on February 2nd, 2018.
Criminal is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of 80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.
“Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty” Vasquez reflects. “The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.”
Criminal marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration. Taking krautrock’s motorik beats and Post-Punk deconstructions and honing them into a hushed percussive incantation, The Soft Moon’s self-titled debut album took shape. The album was released in late 2010 by Captured Tracks and was praised by critics and emulated by contemporaries.
In 2012 the apocalyptic conceptual work of Zeros emerged, shortly followed by Vasquez moving to Venice, Italy in 2013, acting as a catalyst for 2014’s release, Deeper. While previous albums were primarily instrumental records, where Vasquez’s voice was diffused amidst the music as another instrument, Deeper marked the beginning of a new musical direction where vocals and lyrics became something more than a mere presence. Deeper was a descent into the womb of childhood trauma, anxiety and fear, and although Vasquez survived this dark exploration of himself, he did not return alone.
Working once more with Maurizio Baggio, who produced Deeper, at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, Criminal sees Vasquez further explore putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow. The album is Vasquez’s way of holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself and others, and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him.
The now Berlin-based musician has shared the album’s opening track “Burn” and an accompanying lyric video. A confrontation with Luis Vasquez (The Soft Moon)’s true self through torrid bass lines and searing vocals, “Burn” evokes a loss of control akin to demonic possession, chanting: “Eyes, reflecting the person that I am, and it burns“. In this track Vasquez’s battle with his own guilt bores deeper and deeper into a condemnation: “Fire, hell is where I’ll go to live, so I burn”.
Listen to “Burn” below:
Criminal artwork & tracklist:
3. Give Something
4. Like a Father
5. The Pain
6. It Kills
9. Born Into This
The Soft Moon is set to perform a select number of live dates this month, including Sacred Bones 10th Anniversary show in Los Angeles and Le Guess Who Festival in the Netherlands. Full tour dates to follow soon.
The Soft Moon Tour Dates:
10/19 – San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine *
10/21 – Los Angeles, CA – Cloak and Dagger (Sacred Bones 10th Anniversary)
10/22 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle #
10/24 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC §
10/27 – Athens, Greece – F.O.S. Festival
11/9 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Le Guess Who? Festival
11/10 – Kortrijk, Belgium – Sonic City Festival
* w/ Lust For Youth
# w/ Matteo Vallicelli
§ w/ Horoscope