Album Review: Mossy Fae – She Burns It Down
Mossy Fae is a Montreal-based duo that marries classic sophistipop, hazy indietronica and starry-eyed folk to create their own brand of music. Their debut album "She Burns It Down" fully showcases their unique sound, vision and storytelling, creating a deep and detailed sonic pallet.

Breath in, relax and step into Mossy Fae's unique sonic world that starts to unfold on the album opener "Cherry Void". The arrangement is minimalistic: it brings together transparent drones, bird-like whistles and cries and even musical breathing to create a soundbed for mantra-like vocals that reminded us of a toned-down take on Animal Collective's chants.

The journey continues on the meditative "Andy In The Sky". The melody is beatlesque, and ambient soundscapes are lulling and meditative. The drums here are soft and delicate, with a deep kick drum that enhances the song's entrancing quality.

"I'm Your Mask" is colder and more sombre. The sugary clouds of the previous two tracks dissolve, and we are left on the outskirts of a dark forest. The warm and comforting vocals, however, provide a sort of counterbalance for the unwelcoming soundscape. It feels like we are not alone facing the darkness, our guides take us softly by the hand, inviting us on a journey not only deep inside the sonic forest, but inside our own anxieties and fears.

"Automatic Unfolding" ditches the organic textures for colder, more easily recognizable synth tones. The vocals sound thin and vapory, like mist hiding the trees in the forest that we have just entered, and the electronic effects show up and disappear like mirages or ghosts.

The textures on "Sand Wood" are more abrasive and grainy, hence the track's name. They sound like they could dissolve or fall apart any second, so the song leans heavily on an electronic beat, more straightforward than the rhythms we have heard on the record before.

"Movie" boasts the album's catchiest melody. The production here is nuanced and deep, but with a sort of leftfield pop appeal. Deep bass, sinister synths, mystical pitched up vocals and raw hand claps provide a perfect backbone for the track's highly memorable main melodic line.

"Old World" opens up the window to chaos once again. The oscillating pitch on the bell-like sounds is dizzy and disorienting, and the deep bass here feels heavy-handed rather than comforting. The song is dynamically uniform and repetitive, creating an entrancing yet somewhat disturbing effect, different from the meditative and dreamy haze of the album's first tracks.

"Reasons" is where avant-pop meets deeply relaxing ambient. The song's synth timbres resemble ebb and flow, and the organ lines hint on classic 60s' psychedelic folk.

"Unicorn" makes makes perfect use of organic sounds: campfire crackle and insects of the night are instantly immersive. The percussion sounds ritualistic, and the vocals resemble ritual chants as well. All of this context makes the scarce electronic effects sound like souls evicted from the dead by the mysterious ceremony.

The same otherwordly effect is achieved by the vocals on "Ark" surrounded by similarly immersive field recordings, and the beautiful synth solo feels like a sombre equivalent of a snake charmer's tune.

"Whispers" is an example of modern blues, sung by a deeply sad man with a painted smile on his worn out face. The production here is cold and discomforting, with a hint of IDM and Trip-hop.

The harmonies on album closer "River" bring to mind classic French electronic music and Röyksopp. The synth pads are warm and peaceful, and the rest of the production is minimalistic and straightforward. The vocals sound ethereal and angelic and wounded at the same time, leaving a bittersweet aftertaste.

Overall, "She Burns It Down" is a uniquely subtle and deep record, with so many emotional colors and sound details that the album will still feel fresh and surprising even after years of repeated listens.