In a genre as expansive and sonically promising as psych-pop, there is a lot of ground to cover. On his self-titled 4-track debut, Moodoïd, Parisian Pablo Padovani seems to have acknowledged that fact implicitly, and met the challenge ten-fold.
What’s most impressive about Moodoïd’s debut EP is its ability to combine multiple genres seamlessly, through the quality, variety, and—most importantly—interactivity of its sounds. While relying on the spacey bed of synths and ambient vocals characteristic of psychedelic music, Moodoïd invites other genres into its sphere, including pop, punk, grunge, and experimental, through nostalgic vocals, groovy percussion, heavy instrumentation, and irregular song patterns. “Je suis la montagne” (“I Am The Mountain”), Moodoïd‘s stunning opener, encapsulates many of the EP’s strengths: crisp, echoey percussion that punctuates a fun, repetitious psychedelic loop, along with the driving force of grunge-y electric guitar licks. And though the EP’s experimental influences make for rich patches of nightmarish or wild descent, they are in no way overpowering or alienating.
Moodoïd‘s beats, moreover, are crucial to binding the EP together. Each uniquely engaging, heavy percussion line gives body and movement to the band’s music, while casually drawing the listener forward to unfold along each track’s generous curvature. The tumbling beat of “Le chanson du ciel de diamant” (“The Song of the Diamond Sky”), for example, impels us up and down the peaks and valleys of the track’s vocals, while the quick, continuous beat of “De Folie Pure” (“Pure Madness”) prepares us for an altogether different journey. All the while, Moodoïd‘s electric guitar lines bridge the gap between the EP’s higher and lower registers, while its unbelievably sweet, occasionally Brian Wilson-reminiscent French vocals meld seamlessly into the EP’s sonic framework. Finally, it is the EP’s minute details—the vocal instrumentation at the beginning of “Je sais ce qui tu es” (“I Know What You Are”), expert mixing by Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), and “Le chanson du ciel de diamant”‘s chilling outro that ensure the EP’s need for multiple listens.
What Moodoïd’s self-titled debut ultimately succeeds in doing is establishing the band’s personality — casual, talented, and unafraid — and the potential for their music. On one 4-track EP, Padovani has taken us seemingly to the far reaches of what he’s capable of, and yet this is only the beginning. If Padovani has proved anything, it’s that he’s not trying to be a particular thing—and we want to know what he does next.