Liquarius EP - Lunar Dialogues - Review

Liquarius EP - Lunar Dialogues - Review

Lunar Dialogues - Liquarius EP (Pre-save the EP here)

After 3 features on our flagship podcast(Their episodes here), you would think writing an introduction to the Gothic-synth-rock band Lunar Dialogues would be easy. However, as a band that flirts with the border of numerous genres and influences, they’re no project you can lightly box into one area of the musical sphere. We were excited to receive their latest EP before its release date - coinciding with the launch of this shiny new Music News/Reviews website - to dig deep into the three-song record and start to get some answers as to who Lunar Dialogues really are…


NOTE: I have been informed that my order of the tracks was incorrect - I think I was sent all three songs on separate emails, then went first come first serve... The correct order is 1. Diamyo 2. Vertabrae 3. Sometimes. Apologies! 


The EP starts with the clean guitar introduction of “Vertebrae”, contrasting their previous releases that had often relied on up-beat synths sitting at the foreground. As the instruments build to support the entry of the vocals, it feels Lunar Dialogues have found their sound, and instrumentally there’s a confidence in this identity. Vocally, the performance itself is strong, however I can’t help but feel the singing falls into the soundscape and doesn’t sit on top of the mix. Perhaps an intentional decision to treat each layer like an equal-part of the build up of the track, I worry the move is done with a hint of apprehension to allow a true ‘lead’. There’s certainly a hint of intentional dissonance throughout this release, making the bold decision to aim for tension rather than clear harmony. Throughout this EP there are moments of discomfort, but not without absolute intention. I think of a horror film putting you at the edge of your seat to keep you engaged - and it certainly works. 

The middle track of the 3-song EP starts hinting at a return to an 80s pop synth ballad heard previously by the band, with programmed drums and a synthesised bass line, however this is shortly attacked by a mix of varied distorted guitars. As the vocals come in, they’re partnered with a clean electric guitar. Halfway through this song there was a moment I wished for more from the vocals, however this thought was slightly lately greeted by a male counterpart singing, offering the contrast I felt myself wishing for. This track itself has multiple large jumps in the soundscape and timbre - however the programmed drums do notably stick out as the one consistent. The only production point that felt off during this track was the lead vocals, which have typically sounded intentionally instrumental in Lunar Dialogue history, but in moments in this track felt lacking in power and made me longing for them to step forward and take their place rightfully leading the music.

Mirroring the start, the third track starts with a somewhat clean electric guitar playing a simple riff. The drums build around this, until a syncopated and loosely timed riff joins. The vocal harmonies, while in key and sung brilliantly, create tension. The singing is haunting, with a tight harmony on every word. The dynamic variance in this track seems to come primarily from the subtraction of layers, a welcome juxtaposition to the typical approach of creating a wall of sound! When you focus on individual layers, you start to hear the small details that are in place to create tension and theoretical complexity. This track keeps itself exposed and vulnerable, and possibly highlights a newer, confident sound for Lunar Dialogues, focusing on creating satisfying and interesting soundscapes over catchy melodies and upbeat choruses. 


Creating commercial pop music is (arguably…) easy. You can simplify lyrics, use a basic melody and focus on people remembering your choruses. What Lunar Dialogues attempt with their release is something much more ambitious. Their music is emotive and expressive, and this EP feels like a confident step into a corner they can truly claim to be their own. Creating music using tension and stepping away from the norm doesn’t come without its risks, and I think there are moments from a production aspect that could be improved.

Mainly, the vocals need to find their place in the mix, and possibly have more confidence in performance to rise above the otherwise busy tracks. The soft and delicate singing performances are absolutely needed - however the tracks almost feel “halved” by them, and left me wondering what a louder, punchier section of the singing would do to the track. (Quite honestly, the answer could be ruin it for all I know - but it got me thinking!)

But I won’t let that take away from the fact that Lunar Dialogues have set out to create a unique and interesting EP, and it’s one that is truly enjoyable throughout and certainly keeps me excited to continue to watch their rapid growth and development as a band.


Pre-save the EP here

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