Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Mar 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Hot As Helsinki

music Moonface2Spencer Krug heats up with Finnish bandmates on second full-length

Before Spencer Krug comes to the United States to tour as Moonface—thus baring his recently broken heart for fans eager to hear his latest indie experiment, With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery—he reflects back on the solace he found, while surrounded by his Helsinki-bred backup band, Siinai, in a sauna in Finland.

Krug, associated with a remarkable roster of in-demand indie rock bands from his home country of Canada (Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake), recalls one particularly influential sauna session that inspired the two minutes of instrumental, glitchy fuzz called “10,000 Scorpions.” The song is the sixth track off Heartbreaking Bravery, released in April.

“After we recorded that song, in a studio two hours north of Helsinki, we took a sauna in the basement of the studio—an almost nightly occurrence,” says Krug. “The boys had had a few drinks that night and started singing some old Russian folk song that involved throwing water on the hot rocks after every verse. Within three minutes I ran naked and screaming from the sauna while they laughed and laughed from within in their un-burnable Finn-skin. I later told them it felt like I was covered in 10,000 scorpions.”

Bonding abroad with his resilient bandmates rubbed off on Krug, who had been working through heartache prior to recording the album. The juxtaposition of Siinai’s heavy new age noise and Krug’s heartfelt vocals sounds as tough as it is beautiful. But Heartbreaking Bravery isn’t a pity party soundtrack; it’s the kick in the ass you need to move forward.

“The first lyrics for the album were born out of some recent anger and heartache that I was working through,” explains Krug. “The ‘injured but healing’ tone seemed to work well with Siinai’s dark and luxurious melodrama, and so those lyrics became the genesis of a theme. But I luckily haven’t suffered enough heartache in my life to fill an entire album, so only some of the songs are drawn from my own experience, whereas others are fictional, or inspired by shit that my friends have gone through/ put each other through over the years.”

Heartbreaking Bravery is both rich and warped in terms of music and lyrical content, giving way to feelings of anger and anguish, and paving the way for new ones, such as indifference. Take the lyrics to the drum-thumping, tambourine-bashing tune “I’m Not the Phoenix Yet,” for example: “I know you know that I want/to forgive and forget/but I know you know that I’m not/the phoenix yet.”

The artwork on the front and back of the album—an apparition-like, stark-white arm, amidst a black backdrop—by New York photographer Dusdin Condren, literally goes hand-in-hand with the underlying themes present in Heartbreaking Bravery.

“Those hand photos we chose for the album art—clutching, stretching—they seemed to convey a sense of creepy, desperate hope; a fantastical sickness; a simple and dark beauty, that we all thought reflected the music well.”

The album is unlike any of Krug’s previous solo efforts—such as the epic percussive tale Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-Drums (2010), and the more demonic and dancy, Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped (2011)—in that this is the first time the singer doesn’t take on all instrumental responsibilities, which he couldn’t be more psyched about.

“With this particular record—these tours—I’m really digging being a singer,” says Krug. “With Siinai, I hardly play a thing—a bit of keyboard or guitar here and there; some tambourine—but mostly I’m free to just wander around and really enjoy singing. It’s totally new to me; I’ve never not been chained to an instrument on stage. I love it.”

On Thursday, Sept. 13, Krug will commandeer the mic at The Crepe Place, while Siinai lays down the groove.

Asked about his moniker, Moonface, Krug said, “It refers only to the fact that I have a very round face. Me singing ‘I am the moonfaced flower child’ [on the Dreamland EP] was probably me making fun of the fact that I’m a bit of a secret hippy, which I am.”

It’s safe to say that Krug will fit right in here.


Moonface (with Siinai) plays at 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12. For more information, call 429-6994.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by phantom, September 10, 2012
Love the krug. Love the article.
...
written by Cimmerian, September 05, 2012
Spencer Krug is amazing, good write up. I can't wait to see him perform again.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals