Music Reviews

Kama Vardi Moonticket

(Bread for Eskimos) Rating - 7/10

The sonorous strings and pensive vocals that open Kama Vardi’s Moonticket invoke the starry swirl of Edith Piaf’s post-war nostalgia. The Tel Aviv-based Vardi maintains her wish for a return to innocence over the course of nine carefully constructed songs. Production touches at the hand of Oren Lavie are lush and layered, but never fussy to the point of covering up Vardi’s sense of longing for simpler days and better relationships.

At the album’s most base level, Pitch Black To Blue describes a budding romance built on the sturdiest of foundations: “my dog seemed to like you.” But alas, seven years on love has foundered along with Vardi’s pup. Just as tear-in-your-beer melancholic is the start to Any Day Now, where Vardi admits to “taking too many wrong turns,” but the pace brightens with a more optimistic “soon we’ll be home.” This faint strain of hope, coupled with the music’s understated buoyancy, is what keeps Moonticket from drowning in its own sorrows.

There are plenty of highlights throughout the album. The Gate captures a dream-like wooziness as it unfolds, while Under The Sun benefits from a slinky calliope vibe. Even the folkier guitar-driven songs exude charm provided by Vardi’s open-hearted vocal approach. A cover of Nico’s These Days has a lighter touch than the original and the closing Only Water has the cadence of Dylan’s You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go set to a skiffle beat. Both Vardi’s and Dylan’s gentle rhythms mask the tales of heartbreak beneath and supply the hope that the lyrics can’t provide.

Every few years an out of left field artist arrives to provide a trip down their lane of memories that somehow prompt our own. Eerie Wanda’s Pet Town and Sequoyah Tiger’s Parabolabandit, from not so long ago, strike a similar chord, and Vardi’s late-year entry sits comfortably alongside those. Moonticket may deal more directly with faded love, but the subtle handclaps, finger snaps, and jaunty choruses of songs like Take It leave you wondering how you ever felt anything but the certainty of a better tomorrow.