EP Review: Songs For Nocturnal Consumption | William Moore
William Moore is pretty clear, almost cynical about the purpose of his latest EP titled ‘Songs For Nocturnal Consumption’. So we already know what to do with this! Let’s hold hands (or wings) with an owl and take a walk under the starry night sky as suggested by the darling cover art.
This experience begins in an awkward way for me since ‘It’s always…’ makes me check the connection of my Bluetooth headphones twice for the vocal sounded too distorted. Thankfully ‘Good Guy’ starts playing soon enough to let me know that it was only an extreme Vocoder effect and my headphones are totally fine! Either way, looking back at the misunderstood opening, the artist gives us a playful, -one-minute long- piano ballad that could have been composed by a toddler (on purpose of course, William knows exactly what he’s doing), sounding pure and innocent as a kid, plain and serene as the night itself. To be honest, I wish I could distinguish the words hidden by the Vocoder.
A second surprise is waiting with ‘Good Guy’ sounding like a banger to move your body to, instead of lie down and talk about constellations. For the next two minutes we are invited to get up and dance away all the bad choices we’ve made in order to be accepted and look like ‘The Good Guy’ in relationships. If the objective of this EP was to make hit singles, this track would be a perfect candidate with the right build-ups and 'pop standard' adjustments. He remains laid back instead, loyal to his concept with ‘Lie With Me’ giving us the first full sample of what ‘Songs For Nocturnal Consumption’ is about. Yes. This is obviously made to be enjoyed while holding your lover’s hand under the moon, lying on the grass, appreciating each moment you exist in the world together. Love has this unique ability of reminding us that happiness is a choice: ‘We don’t have to face the outside world if we don’t want to’ and no one is allowed to take anything from it. The simplicity of the keys, the raw vocals of Moore and a couple of slow-burning synths make this outdoor sensation more tangible, transferring us under the night sky to witness this scene taken from a teenage love film.
Travelling decades after, ‘Know My Face’ is a retrospective moment when love has fully blossomed, tested and proved its power. William’s harmonizing voice, heavy-hearted piano and lyrics merge into a truly heart-wrenching piece of music, bound to hurt you, especially the moment you realize what this song speaks about. A glorious journey, a whole world created by the love of two people, tragically destined to fade from memory: ‘Each day I feel you slipping away – Are you still there? - Will you remember the life that’s gone by? – I know it’s not your fault’. ‘Know My Face’ has this bittersweet taste of paying tribute to a lifetime of unconditional, shared love while at the same time watching it all come to an end.
Before the EP closes, we are gifted with the sublime ‘Artificial Sensibilities’, maybe the ‘biggest’ offering until now (personally speaking). Opening with a dramatic, whimpering tone followed by rising, emotional ethers and climaxing with epic, futuristic horns, this one could be part of the ‘Tron’ soundtrack, also similar to M83. In contrast to everything we experienced until now, ‘Artificial Sensibilities’ feels grandiose, explores electronic elements in a large scale and makes you visualize a completely different side of the artist. A 180-degree turn of Moore displaying the miracle of the universe from a futuristic, sci-fi angle rather than the romantic one we’ve been listening to for the last 10 minutes.
Last but not least, ‘A Response’ is the most captivating piece in this EP. ‘I wrote a song but I got the tone all wrong, I should’ve spent my time thinking of what matters’ grabs your attention immediately and makes you freeze no matter what you are doing. Kind of dangerous! But this is painful material. Moore stands almost naked while going through a heart-breaking goodbye, alone, longing to be remembered: ‘I wish that you could see me in the flowers’. Entirely stripped, ‘A Response’ leaves everything to the fragile lyrics and shivering performance of Moore who sounds like he is literally holding his beating heart while telling his most intimate story. Brave in his vulnerability.
‘Songs For Nocturnal Consumption’ ends up fulfilling everything it stands for. It’s a beautiful collection of love-story artworks, crafted with warmth and devotion. It’s William Moore investing his pain into purging piano melodies while experimenting with electronic elements, subtly most of the time. The most interesting thing about this EP is how different it sounds during the first listening compared to the 3rd or 4th. It takes time to appreciate the instrumental simplicity for the space it offers for the stories to shine, and fortunately, it’s brief enough to support multiple tireless repetitions. And let me tell you, this process is rewarding. Always.
Enjoy William Moore: