koleżanka Place Is Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 7th, 2021  


Place Is

Bar None

Aug 03, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The overdot above the ‘z’ in Kristina Moore’s chosen alter-ego, koleżanka, is certainly a nod to her Polish heritage. But it may as well represent the “you are here” blue dot of a Google Maps adventure gone haywire on a search for the F Train. Walk a block west and the dot hurls itself a half mile away from where you think you just wandered. Such disorientation has been a hallmark of Moore’s life’s journey, but in spite of the imponderable title of her Bar/none debut, Place Is finds Moore securing her true footing.

Moving from Arizona, to Nebraska, to New York, and with years spent songwriting, self-releasing music, and in support of other bands, Moore’s latest album comes fully formed and its certainty of purpose bears little resemblance to what came before. The opening guitar line of first track, “A Mouthful,” meanders a bit, is met with a smattering of cymbals, but then both are pulled onto a synth driven path forward. The song and a good portion of the album marry up the aural hypnotics of Beach House with the wonky time signatures of Grizzly Bear in the best way imaginable. Back to back singles, “Vegan Sushi” and “7th St/7th Ave,” bleed into each other with frazzled edges encasing big beats and layered vocals.

The album’s lyrics contend with conflicting themes of being adrift, while also grappling with stasis in those same moments. On “In a Meeting,” Moore complains, “I spend three hours wondering if it’s time to go,” but with an embedded truth that there is no particular place to go. The opening track recounts a vulnerably awkward moment amongst the crowd at a live show, while on “The Offensive,” Moore reveals her dependability in the most mundane of brags: “you know I’m always on time.” But the same song weaves the most enchanting web of chiming notes, rock steady drumming, and Moore’s most assured vocals.

Whether the album’s title, Place Is, is meant as a play on the settings and situations Moore has found herself in or an open ended question still seeking an answer, Moore has found her best musical self in these nine taut tracks. Whether ragged and electrified or more sweetly conveyed like the Tennis meets Animal Collective gem, “B2YP,” Moore has made a statement here of note. Even if she doesn’t know how, why, or when she arrived or where the next stop may be, there is magic to be had in getting there. (www.kolezanka.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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