Needless to say, my happiness had quite a spike last Friday, being the release day of the highly anticipated and teased new album Starfruit by Moonchild, the US dream-trio I've been in love with for several years now.
Amber Navran, Andris Mattson & Max Bryk (whose individual inputs into the Moonchild music are so many, it will take me half a page) crafted their 5th studio album after 10 years of "working and growing together". The latter is especially present since Starfruit, out via our friends at Tru Thoughts, will undoubtedly surprise you, sound-wise.
While it is inevitably very Moonchild-esque, with their signature jazzy keys, playful percussion, and Amber's honey vocals, the project has some pretty funky and synth-infused tracks and also the trio tried some different and very nice sounds and textures. Andris explains:
Max has this arpeggiator synth patch that makes me so happy every time I hear it, Amber incorporated this super cool octave pedal patch on her vocals and I made a keyboard patch I’m obsessed with.
There's another big surprise, which you've probably already figured out from the singles "Tell Him" (with Lalah Hathaway) and "Love I Need" (with Rapsody) - but Starfruit is their first record, featuring collaborators. The other names on the album are Alex Isley, Ill Camille, Tanks and the Bangas (in the focus track "Get By"), Mumu Fresh, Chantae Cann, and Josh Johnson. Moonchild took the opportunity to work with a big number of renowned Black female musicians, on which Amber elaborates:
I was so overjoyed that they were down and I’m obsessed with everything they did! All too often Black women don’t get the recognition and credit they deserve for their incredible talent and contributions to the music industry, and in every industry, scene and space. Each one of these women has been a huge inspiration to us and we were so honored to get the opportunity to make music with them.
A truly landmark release, Starfruit is exactly as experimental and interesting as it needs to be to still captivate the 10-year-long fanship while still keeping the much-loved signature sound of the trio. I always find it hard to pick favorites from albums, and this one offers 14 mind-blowing pieces but I would really advise you to check the feel-good & warm "You Got One" with Alex Isley, the super cool drum section on "Last Time", the playful but fairytale-ish "By Now" & "Don't Hurry Home" with Mumu Fresh. This goes without saying but I hope you've already spun the singles enough times 'cause they're also priceless (especially the synth-heavy "I Need Love" with Rapsody).
Alongside the album drop, the focus track "Get By" got this amazing animated lyric video which you should definitely watch: