Published Sep 12, 2014The City Wrecker EP from prolific Canadian musician/lyricist Spencer Krug under the name of Moonface initially follows the formula of last year's offering, Julia With Blue Jeans On — just Krug and a baby grand piano in his then-home of Helsinki, Finland singing about love and isolation — but quickly reveals some interesting twists that stop this release from feeling like a collection of Julia B-sides.
Opening track "The Fog" sounds like it would fit right in on Julia until whirling synths show up nearly two minutes in, quickly asserting the EP as a completely different beast. Krug's voice and lyrics are the same as ever — poetic and eccentric, even when muted — but the few overdubs mark the return of the compositional expertise that led his prior projects, including Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown.
The first three songs hover near the four-minute mark, while the last two are lengthy Herculean epics that feature extended instrumental passages that help bring the songs to their stunning finishes. Closer "Daughter of a Dove" best benefits from the EP's slightly expanded sonic palette, with trilling synths to bolster the climax to find a happy medium between Julia's purist rule-adherence and the frenetic arrangements of Krug's older work. With this EP, Krug demonstrates that less is more, but that it also doesn't hurt to go big, even if "big" in this case is an expertly timed digital synth here and there. (Paper Bag)