Hot Spring Moonlight Lady is the debut two-song EP from Los Angeles based group Ludvig Van. In the mere six minutes and thirty seconds of material that the band has put out, a variety of styles and approaches are offered, all under a soulful, emotional guise. It should be noted that their are instrumental versions of these two songs on the EP as well.
The first track on the EP, eponymously titled “Hot Spring Moonlight Lady,” predominately consists of noodling guitar combined with impassioned, crooning vocals. The music is executed well and the production is very solid, but the song was a bit too self-obsessed in my opinion. Simply put, most of the instrumentation screamed “Look at me! Look at what I can do!” however what surprised me was how, despite the avaricious nature of the music, the sounds all melded together. The meshing of the piano melodies and guitar lines proved to be quite smooth, regardless of their constant noodling. Although the pitch proved to be good and the tones and timbres were enjoyable as well, I think if the vocals could tone themselves down a bit (pun intended), they would stop detracting from the instrumentation, as I feel that they currently do. There is just a lot going on in this song, and the abundance of engrossment exhibited by a couple of the instruments takes away from the anomalousness of the rest of the remaining instruments.
The second and last track, titled “In Time” had a very nice R&B flavor to it and proved to be smooth from beginning to end. Again, I felt like the vocals were a bit distracting, however they fell more into line due to the simper nature of the instrumentation that fell below them. I really enjoyed the guitar and piano performances on this track, and their interactions and harmonies were very pleasant. The touch of the 808 was interesting, as the music itself felt like a bit of a throwback, so the combination of the two features was pretty neat.
Overall, I would say that Ludvig Van certainly has potential— on their own, each member shows a very good amount of promise and talent. Everything is well executed and well written, however I think the band needs to work on interacting with each other and figuring out how to balance everything that each of them can bring to the table. My biggest complaint was that I felt like they were occasionally trying to outdo each other instead of trying to complement each other. However, with time and practice this can certainly be fixed, and I have faith that Ludvig Van will get it done.
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