San Francisco-based artist Luis Vasquez is the man behind Soft Moon, a project known for lo-fi, hypnotic synth beats that reference the bleakness of Joy Division. That sound dominated Soft Moon’s self-titled debut album, released late last year, and sophomore album Zeros carries on that sonic theme.
Zeros starts with full intensity: Clapping synths, heavy breathing and robotic heartbeats intertwine in the opening track, “It Ends.” What starts as a fierce introduction melts into more dance-oriented tracks with a definite hint of something ’80s in the air. Vasquez adds echoed vocals underneath repetitive mechanic reverberations, keeping a heavy beat present throughout it all. The title track, “Zeros,” proves to be more upbeat than the openers. It’s much less intense, a little more melodic and carries a futuristic feel. The song paves the way for the core of the album, a soundtrack for a fog-machine-and-laser-style dance party.
After a few cheerier tracks, the album veers back with into the abyss with “Lost Years.” This song is like a space cowboy’s theme for riding through the galaxy—seriously, if you listen closely you can hear robotic horse hooves galloping. “Want” and “ƨbnƎ ƚI” close things out with pressure-rising builds and abrupt endings. They leave Soft Moon’s second album on a multi-faceted, adventurous note, though one that remains dark and eerie.