Summer is here, and there exists few better ways to kick it off than with Moodie. Moodie is the debut EP by Florida artist Yuno, and it delivers vulnerability and complex emotions wrapped up in a tightly packaged bundle of pop. Melancholic at times and triumphant at others, Yuno delves into the sentiments one feels while undergoing a metamorphosis triggered by a break-up.
Yuno certainly wears his influences on his sleeve. Four of the six tracks – “Amber,” “Why For,” “So Slow,” and “Galapagos” – all sound deeply influenced by Animal Collective and Panda Bear. While many of the songs sound like they could quite literally be released by Animal Collective – like an unreleased B-side on Merriweather Post Pavilion – Moodie delivers much more than just a facsimile. Yuno weaves within the compositions different flavors ranging from emo to trap, and delivers a level of cohesion and tight songwriting that a group like Animal Collective has always had trouble doing.
Despite the small collection of songs, Yuno is also able to display a level of variety that keeps the EP fresh. Songs like “Fall in Love” display a level of simplicity, as it is mostly acapella sans the beat and a simple bass guitar, while “Galapagos” features beautiful, complicated sample manipulation and multiple layers of sound.
A notably strong aspect of Moodie is the lyricism. Yuno captures perfectly the range of emotions and thoughts that plague the mind of anybody post break-up, and approaches them with a level of optimism that instills strength in the listeners. “But I need to be by myself… I sing for myself, I bleed for myself, I breathe for myself,” he reminds himself in “Why For.” A plethora of self-affirmations are abound. “You must look in the mirror, bust through the exterior, and be the superior,” he tells himself in “Amber.”
Moodie is a very crisp and brief piece, and most of the EP ranges from pleasant to outright sensational. Yuno doesn’t reinvent the wheel with this release, though there are a couple of moments of brilliance. The second half of “Galapagos” is trap-psychedelic pop perfection, a combination that I didn’t quite see working before but am now completely turned on to. “No Going Back,” while perhaps being the simplest of songs on the album – the structure is verse-chorus-verse-chorus and the chorus is him going “la la la” – is also the catchiest song I’ve heard so far this summer.
The only track on the album that I didn’t particularly like was “So Slow,” which – like the title implies – feels like it goes on forever. It’s nearly six minutes, and without any meaningful progression in songwriting seems like it could be half the length.
Moodie breaks little new ground in the realm of music, but is a fiercely solid EP that has me incredibly excited for a full release from Yuno.