“Moon pop” is the name Via Tania has given her music, and her sophomore album, Moon Sweet Moon, is an exploration of fantasy that syncs with the name. This album may lack starkness and desolation — the darker side of the moon — but its emphasis on play over catharsis is interesting anyway.
Via Tania’s voice has a peaceful, transporting effect. It is breathy and catlike, and she sings with languid relaxation. It’s like listening to Cat Power, except without Chan Marshall’s sense of brokenness and vulnerability. (Actually, her vocal style matches Marshall’s so well that it almost seems intentional.) Light electronic accompaniment creates a spacious and minimal landscape. Dusted over with reverb and flirting with dub, gothic fantasy and trip-hop elements, what you could call lounge music creates a pleasant negative space to backdrop her voice.
The lyrics themselves have a subconscious quality: daydream stuff. “Dangerously” describes a moth stuck in a cupboard. And in “Our Wild Flight,” Tania pushes her point through without getting specific: “I don’t need to talk about it after so long/ You will still penetrate my system” seems universal, even though it’s vague.
With this album, “moon pop” jibes with a statement by Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Moon Sweet Moon provides a playful look upward.