Allison – Moonlight Rhythm Society (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a wonderful lightness of touch about the way that Moonlight Rhythm Society have used to construct their latest single, Allison. It has a vibe rooted in the more accessible end of jazz, is soaked in sultry soul vibes, exhibits wonderful pop accessibility and is a master class in underplaying and understatement.

The beats are restrained and unfussy, the bass meanders along melodic lines adding subdued rhythms just heard below the surface and the guitars are happy to add delicate motifs rather than steal the show. Throw in some great lead vocals which, like everything else going on here, serve the song, rather than the ego, and soft banks of sensual harmonies and you have quite the package.

It’s the space that MRS leave themselves which makes things work so well. A space that means that instruments don’t ever clash, everyone gets their moment and that musical harmony and equality reign supreme. This space also means that the gentle washes of synth and brass sonics which act as a platform for the song have room to rise through these gaps and bind everything together.

Such euphoric, jazz-infused and soulful sounds always put me in mind of the likes of Steely Dan, which may say more about my lack of expertise in such areas than anything else, but there is the same impossible blend of ornateness and creativity, and easy accessibility and immediacy.

Allison is the first in a planned run of seven songs and, as all initial steps should be, is the perfect calling card. Not only is the song itself a beautiful and enjoyable experience, but it also builds all the required anticipation in the listener for what is to follow. And that is exactly how you leave a trail of sonic breadcrumbs for future expectation.

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