With a mismatch of influences including the misunderstood maverick composer Charles Ives, the intricate, technical guitarist Erik Mongrain, and US alt-lit writer Heiko Julien, it might come as some surprise that Moon Panda create such beautifully relatable songs.
The sounds of Portishead, Mitski, Beirut, Beach House, and Angel Olsen have been key to the formation of Moon Panda. After the duo of Californian songwriter Maddy Myers and Danish guitarist Gustav Moltke decided on the talents of Bristolian synth player George Godwin and London-based percussionist Alfie Webber to join them, they settled on Brighton in 2018 as their creative base to launch the group.
Their debut single ‘Rabbit’ released on boutique record label My Little Empire is an impressive introduction with dark undertones. “Rabbit is about unhealthy love,” Myers explains. “It’s someone so infatuated with their partner that they can’t end their tragic, dependent relationship.” Inspired by a character formed in Heiko Julien’s collection of wit-filled 21st-century love poems ‘I’m Ready To Die A Violent Death’, Myers looks to personify the atmosphere evoked. “I wanted ‘Rabbit’ to feel quite hypnotic and have some edge. Like a predator lurking around.” The single was produced by Cameron Blackwood who has also recently worked with the likes of Florence & the Machine, The Horrors, British Sea Power, and London Grammar.
Moon Panda create a hypnotic, mellow soundscape, with lush electronic harmonies and dense drums that weave throughout and leave an instantaneous desire for more. The fragility and sensitivity felt in ‘Rabbit’ has been part and parcel of Myers’ songwriting journey throughout her life. In fact, she was sparked into first picking up a guitar at 16 after her self-confessed sweetly sheltered childhood saw its first glimpse of the real world when her treasured adolescent possessions were stolen from a broken into car. “I had a really charmed, kind, upbringing and it was the first time I’d ever really felt cruelty,” explains Myers.