The Soft Moon at Slim's, by Kristin Cofer

Berlin-via-Oakland post-punk project the Soft Moon has recently signed with New York record label Sacred Bones, announcing the upcoming February 2, 2018 release of its fourth studio album, Criminal.

Luis Vasquez has been creating increasingly confessional music as the Soft Moon since 2010 with the release of its self-titled LP and subsequent Total Decay EP on Captured Tracks. Captured Tracks also put out the Soft Moon's two most recent full-length albums, Zeros and Deeper. Now signed with Sacred Bones, Vasquez maintains his lyrical and introspective trajectory on Criminal. Striking a heavy and self-reflective tone, the album finds Vasquez battling with internal conflicts stemming from childhood trauma.

The Soft Moon performed the album's debut single "Burn" at Mezzanine this past October, sharing a bill with Pelada and Lust For Youth. Vasquez moved away from the Bay Area about five years ago, and he expressed to the San Francisco crowd that he was glad to be back. Commanding lead vocals and switching off between guitar, keyboards, and a range of percussion, Vasquez powered through cuts from his Captured Tracks catalogue. Highlights included Vasquez ferociously banging on the Steelpan drum for "Wrong" and the final encore "Want." The band's most intense moments came when all three members of the band were drumming in unison under the blaring strobe lights. Although there were no visual projections akin to previous Soft Moon shows in years past, the lighting was precise and synchronized enough to offer an exciting visual element to the show.

I would expect the Soft Moon to deliver a similarly intense audiovisual experience at The Independent in April. The new album will be out by then, so we can probably expect to hear more tracks from Criminal mixed into the set list. Supporting acts will be announced in the coming weeks. For now, check out the new video for "It Kills" below.

The Soft Moon
The Independent
April 11, 2018
8pm, $16