Spencer Krug Talks the "Optimism and Intimacy" of Moonface's 'Julia With Blue Jeans On'

Spencer Krug Talks the "Optimism and Intimacy" of Moonface's 'Julia With Blue Jeans On'
Photo: Tero Ahonen
Known for his densely mythological lyrics and unmistakable warbling tenor, Spencer Krug has graced the ears of many a listener through bands like Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes and Swan Lake, though he has recently been releasing music under his solo moniker Moonface. Despite having established himself as a dynamic force in the Canadian music scene, Krug recently revealed that he is currently not living in our home and native land, having moved to Helsinki about a year and a half ago.

Speaking to Exclaim! about the move, Krug explained that "everything that was tying [him] down to Montreal," including Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade and his relationship, "kind of ended within a year of each other, it all kind of ended simultaneously. I felt like maybe it was time to try something new, get out of Montreal. And there was a band in Finland [Siinai] that I wanted to work with, and there was a woman that I cared about, so I decided I was gonna try out Helsinki for a little while."

After releasing the rock-heavy Heartbreaking Bravery with Siinai in 2011, Krug's newest record, the recently released Julia with Blue Jeans On, marks a drastic departure.

"[Heartbreaking Bravery] was a bit of an angry breakup record, a rock record," Krug explains. "I was pretty angry throughout a lot of it and I wasn't feeling that way anymore, and I thought, 'Maybe it's time to express some optimism and intimacy in sort of response to the last record I made.'"

The stark solo piano record was also influenced in part by the harsh Helsinki winter.

"It's just as cold as [Montreal] but it's twice as dark and you just stay inside all the time. I had a very quiet, intimate existence, so it makes sense to me that I wasn't making something loud and bombastic. I can get depressed really easily in the winter, I think a lot of people can. When you get depressed, you get down on yourself, you feel like you're a piece of shit, and that's just like me maybe getting older and being like fuck that, I'm tired of feeling that way."

It was this attitude that helped give Julia With Blue Jeans On its raw, intimate nature, for which it was been heavily praised.

"I think, for the most part, I did consciously want to make something sincere. I know I keep using that word. But something straightforward, no bullshit; it's a reflection of the instrumentation."

While Krug's plans for the future aren't set in stone, he stated that his move to Finland is "not permanent."

"I've only been there a year and a half, I'll probably come back in about six months."

Julia with Blue Jeans On is out now on Paper Bag Records, and you can read Exclaim!'s full interview with Krug here.