Sunday, September 16 ~~ 9PMFacebook
Ava Luna at The Hideout
Sun 9/16 9PM | 21+ | $12 https://ticketf.ly/2ts9olF
formerly THIN HYMNS
About Ava Luna's new album Moon 2, out September 7:
Since releasing Infinite House in 2015, the members of Ava Luna have ventured out in different directions: Felicia Douglass and Becca Kauffman took the lead in their own projects with and , respectively—Douglass working with Erik Gundel and Ethan Bassford on a lush space that foregrounds her magnetic vocals; and Kauffman taking her unhinged performance practice to its logical extreme. Julian Fader released an album with new project Coffee and toured with ; he and Carlos Hernandez released an LP with new project (Father/Daughter), while also lending production and arrangements to Frankie Cosmos, Mr Twin Sister, Speedy Ortiz, Palehound, and more. And this year, Douglass is hitting the road as a touring member of Dirty Projectors.
Moon 2 came together in Wilmington, Vermont, and Hull, Massachusetts in the fall and winter of 2017—two off-season vacation destinations perfect for carving out new sonic territory. Kauffman came to Vermont with a crate of “women’s tapes”: recordings of neo-pagan goddess chants from 90’s women’s lib groups, which she picked up at a yard sale. Kauffman’s fascination with the tapes spread through the band and, having spent their career writing through-composed songs so averse to repetition it became one of their many inside jokes, Ava Luna found themselves writing much of Moon 2 around chants and refrains as well.
As a result, phrases such as “All the things he read / nothing in his head” or “If I go for a deli run will you roll with me” become points of unity. “[When you sing together] you create something that’s teachable, learnable, that everyone can do together,” says Kauffman. “It’s a relationship you’re sparking. It creates this harmony/integration that’s critical for human survival.”
After being the de facto band leader for so long, Hernandez decided to step back, leaving space for the rest of the band to step up and step into roles they hadn’t occupied on previous albums. Douglass worked with percussion and sampler, Fader experimented with synths, nearly every band member ran the computer during recording sessions, and Kauffman composed her first song for the group: “On Its Side the Fallen Fire,” which began as a chant that beset a live-composed all-in recording session and coalesced into a deeply layered orchestral piece of Kate Bush grandeur meets Julia Holter reverie.
Holed up in an isolated dream space of their own creation and listening to pagan goddess chants, sci-fi utopias weighed heavily upon the making of the album. “We know what this world looks like, we know what this moon looks like, we know all the fucked up things that exist in our day to day life. But let’s imagine a second. Let’s imagine another. This album was made under the second moon,” says Hernandez, of the album’s title. And yet, the album ends on a song simply called “Moon.” “[Utopias] were never meant to be permanent, they were never meant to sustain society, it’s all supposed to be a beautiful experiment,” Hernandez acknowledges. “Obviously there’s no second moon. But isn’t it great to dream of it?”