On Record – Moonchild: Starfruit (Tru Thoughts)


written by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Los Angeles-based trio Moonchild deliver their fifth album, in the company of a number of collaborators. The collaborative approach of trio of Amber Navran, Andris Mattson and Max Bryk  yields guest slots from no fewer than eight different artists, a celebration of their open approach.

The new album looks beyond previous long players, enjoying experiments with new synth sounds.

What’s the music like?

Sultry. If you need some time out, or need the weight lifted from your shoulders, Moonchild are an excellent listening option. The first two songs on Starfruit, breathy and subtly soulful, are prove of that – slow jams that have a nice, easy and instinctive flow to them. The second, Takes Two, has the confidence to stop completely two thirds of the way through and just enjoy its moment.

Moonchild songs tell a story but in a conversational way, effortlessly sung and accompanied by fluid grooves from the trio. The guests make a good subtle mark, too – Alex Isley on You Got One, Ill Camille on the heady Need That, Tank and the Bangas bringing a more expansive sound to Get By and a final slow jam, The Long Way, which gets maximum investment from Chantae Cann and Josh Johnson.

Too Good is the star, though, the album’s centrepiece hitting a really lovely smoky groove, celebrating the highs of love but recognising its vulnerable moments too.

Does it all work?

Yes. Starfruit requires very little effort, working its wonders best at either end of the day – and looks set to come into its own when the weather (finally) gets warmer. One or two of the songs might be a bit to breathy for some tastes, but that’s a minor quibble on a richly soothing and intimate album.

Is it recommended?

Yes. Another addition to Tru Thoughts’ formidable discography of soul beauties.