Spencer Krug has made another record under the name Moonface, this time with the help of some new friends. The third product of an ongoing series of changing collaborations and approaches to tune-making is called With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery. Surprise, a two-part title. Let’s bust in to this brothel one door at a time.
Siinai is the Finnish band Krug worked with on this album. They live in Helsinki, a beautiful town of extremes: dark, light, cold, steamy, stoic, drunk. Krug met Siinai when their former band, Joensuu 1685, toured with Wolf Parade throughout Europe in 2009. Friendships were born.
Over the following year, Joensuu 1685 went on hiatus, Siinai was formed and Krug unexpectedly received a copy of their first album, Olympic Games. Siinai could safely be described as progressive kraut rock. Their songs are long and heavy, often gorgeous, repetitive, with slow subtle hypnotic changes that bring to mind a single cell splitting into two. Also of key interest to Krug at the time: they had no vocalist.
Krug asked if they wanted to make an album together, a collaboration wherein Siinai would perform the meat of the music, and Moonface would take care of the vocals (and ultimately a few licks on the keyboard). Siinai agreed. They started recording their rehearsals and sent the rough ideas formed in their Helsinki jam space to Krug in Montreal. The process continued: Siinai wove the baskets, laid down the coloured straw, while Moonface painted the eggs.
In August of 2011, Krug arrived in Finland and the new collaboration started restructuring the demos to fit the vocals, as well as writing new songs from scratch. Big beats boomed. Colours burst. Krug’s addiction to melody and pop music met Siinai’s love for simplicity and their rare patience for music that slowly evolves, and something somewhere in the middle was created. It was a compromise that everyone enjoyed making.