Week in Pop: ETA, Kristen Barredo, Micah E. Wood

Sjimon Gompers

San Joaquin's rising star—Kristen Barredo; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Moon Racer

Lunar lullabies from Durham, NC’s Moon Racer; photographed by Reed Benjamin.

Orindal Records has been creating holistic earthy anthems that feel as if they were manifested from another planet & gifted to ours. The imprint that has given us works from Greg Jamie, Julie Byrne, Friendship & more recently graced the world with the new album Is it really a secret? from Moon Racer—and now the Durham, NC artist Autumn E. What presents the world premiere of the hand-made DIY stop action video for the haunting “Song of the Mogwai” that features artwork from Zack Bly. Borrowing inspirations from the 1984 film Gremlins, Autumn explores allegories that entertain the expansive & intricate nature of affections that are sung & depicted like an organic, earthbound sci-fi melody that resonates in the chambers of all hearts who ever felt anything for anyone else at all.

The visual centerpiece for Moon Racer’s “Song of the Mogwai” visual is a composition book that becomes an enchanted array of lyrical representations that are illustrated through a variety of mixed media. Meditations on the passage of time along with the pangs of memory can be seen throughout the doodles, collected postcards, road maps, creative uses of yarn & Zack Bly’s own drawings of Moon Racer in the comforts of their own room. Autumn’s own lo-fi analog delivery unto itself makes for a very environmental song where the listener feels privy to these places of emotive & affectionately charged observations. Every strum & sung note is shared with a warm presence that echoes throughout the consciousness in a way that feels familiar, like revisiting old poetry, to passages in a journal that exhibit the extents of journeys made (while reveling in the learned wisdom about where you would like to go from where you are in the present). Moon Racer has made a collage of personal items that come to life like a living scrapbook of calendars, creative arts, drawings of landscapes, cacti, animals, trees, stars and much more that depicts the days that have gone by with all the connective feelings associated to them.

Moon Racer’s Autumn E. What shared some insightful reflections about the inspirations behind “Song of the Mogwai”:

A couple years ago, I got really into the movie Gremlins as an allegory for love. Real love is such a rare, freaky thing! The connection between you and another person can feel like a tangible, living creature—it’s like you’ve created this fuzzy little mogwai, always with you, singing its little song.

But nobody really gets how extraordinary that is. In Gremlins, Corey Feldman sees this supernatural creature and is just like, “Yeah, real neat,” and keeps reading his comic book. People are so careless and hardly realize how special a mogwai, or love, is.

And then, from that really pure place, eventually come all these gremlins—obsession, jealousy, insecurity, whatever—that destroy the whole town and try to kill you.

So, that’s why this song is called “Song of the Mogwai”. It’s a love song trying really hard to stay in the light, even after the realization it’s never going to work. It’s making one last declaration, for the record, and letting it go, without resentment or too much sadness. No gremlins.

Moon Racer’s Is it really a secret? is available now via Orindal Records.

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