Dropping seemingly out of the sky, at first I thought At the Ballroom was a live album. But then I read the press release and, no, it was the long-awaited third Moonbabies album. It’s been three years since their amazing second album, The Orange Billboard, and despite the stopgap War on Sound EP in 2005, I’d all but given up hope of them ever making another album.
But no, here it is, another gorgeous set of swooning songs from Malmö, Sweden residents Ola Frick and Carina Johansson. I’m guessing the popularity from the surprising use of "War on Sound" in an episode Grey’s Anatomy — not to mention it’s inclusion on the soundtrack CD — may have lit a fire under the duo.
In addition to the miasma of folk, psych, shoegaze, and sunshine pop, At the Ballroom displays a heavy Phil Spector influence, most obvious on the spacey "Cocobelle," and "Shout it Out" which musically quotes the Crystals. Still, the key to Moonbabies’ appeal remains the same — the mellifluous beauty of Frick and Johannson’s unified voices. Otherworldly.
Already in Scandanavian shops, Moonbabies’ At the Ballroom is released in America through the awesome Hidden Agenda label on May 29, though if you order through Parasol (HA’s parent label / record store) you can get it in about three weeks. The band is streaming the whole thing at their website. And if you don’t own The Orange Billboard, what are you waiting for?
A couple music videos:
The new, expensive (for them) clip for "War on Sound"… as heard on Grey’s Anatomy:
And the ethereal 2002 promo for "Over My Head," which turned me on to the band in the first place:
You can also watch both in much clearer Quicktime at the band’s website.