photograph from White Moth Black Butterfly Facebook
White Moth Black Butterfly are on Facebook at /whitemothblackbutterfly
I really liked the White Moth Black Butterfly debut album. It was delicate, sincere and demanded attention to be fully understood. But that demand was dramatically understated. I didn’t even realise how much I enjoyed the album until I found myself writing about it. It got under my skin. So does this single. But in a much more obvious way.
‘Rising Sun’ sounds much more like a band than a collection of layered instrumentation and samples. The electronic glitches and pulses and sweeping ambiance that defined the full length is still very much here but its less over bearing, allowing simpler guitar melodies and keyboards to lead the track. This track feels less compositional, and more like a song. This change of focus makes ‘Rising Sun’ a lot more immediate and accessible than any track on the album that preceded it.
The addition of Jordan Bethany’s vocals as a counterpoint to the hauntingly dramatic Tompkins is an excellent move. Her sweet and subtle vocal hook evokes the recent work of Chvrches, though it’s a performance that is less kitsch and more sophisticated. It easy to imagine a track like ‘Rising Sun’ hooking casual fans of soothing electronica in a way that would have been more difficult for tracks from ‘One Thousand Wings’. Not to detract from the quality of that first album, but ‘Rising Sun’ is much easier to listen to, and to want to listen to, again and again.
The triumph of this song though is in its dynamics. For a short and radio friendly 3.32 it moves through a fair number of distinct sections beyond a simple verse chorus combination. The minimalist choruses with their classy bass lines slowly build to the swirling electronics that dance around Tompkin’s melancholy verse vocal. The excellent placed vocal delays that lead into the song’s bridge where Tompkins and Bethany intertwine their distinct voices over some beautiful piano bashing.
Keshav Dhar could easily use this single song as an all-encompassing showcase for his production chops. The DIY and in-house approach of the outfit somehow makes the whole thing seem more endearing.
‘Rising Sun’ is an exciting insight into the future of White Moth Black Butterfly now that Tompkins is working with a full line up. And I managed to get through the review without mentioning TesseracT or Skyharbor….Damn.
‘Rising Sun’ is available now from the White Moth Black Butterfly Bandcamp.