Plïnkï Plønkï‘s lunar album is a tiny treasure, a cassette in an A5 box, like the moon eclipsed by the sun. Ana Stefaniak lends illustrations, Amanda Nordqvist reads verses, and guest musicians from around the world flesh out the compositions with an array of instruments new to Plïnkï Plønkï’s arsenal. The entire process feels intimate, especially when one learns that some of the guests are fans. (What better way to interact with one’s favorite artist than to appear on their next album?)
The moon has inspired poets and artists since the dawn of artistry. As crickets and birds greet the night orb, the first psalm is read. The orchestra queues in the background. These are psalms of praise, wonder, and calm: reverent, rhymed verses, referencing the old British poets. Astronauts appear in the title track, as if pulling the moon to the earth, planting flags of brass, ivory and wood. The piano remains the base instrument as the others leap lightly in zero gravity, looking for rocks. The effect is that of a tissue paper collage, each element attached lightly so as not to tear the fabric.
And then the sister sea appears, reflecting the moon’s influence upon the tides. The music eases in and out, alternating with patches of poetry. The texture of the psalms fold into song like pebbles of memory recalled from the shore. “For Daughter Tide” evolves slowly into orchestra, mimicking the incremental increase of waves to a swell: rising, but never breaking.
Psalms for a Sunken Moon offers an alternative to other albums that contrast dark and light. The evening hours, the midnight reverie, the quietude of deep night receive celebratory attention. The album is processing to the bright light of dawn, but the late hours of the night seem melancholic, as sister moon is about to set. The light to come is not salvation, but the loss of subtlety; as soon as the sun rises, the listener yearns for it to set once more. How fitting then that the album is released as the days are drawing shorter, nudging the blue hour ever closer, expanding the playground in which the moon might frolic. (Richard Allen)