Two years after their “Who’s Gonna Save Us Now” debut EP, Australian alt-rockers Crystal Cities return this month with a full studio album.

Under the Cold Light of the Moon” shows great promise for the 4-member Indie-pop-rock group from Sydney. Bonus: recorded this time ‘round at Abbey Road Studios, production on all tracks is smooth and polished.

The album was mixed by legendary Paul Lani (Bowie, Prince) in Los Angeles. “You Were the Last to Know” is a rollicking arrangement with a grabby hook; the full-tilt energy of driven “I Hear a Cold Wind Calling” recalls Canada’s Half Moon Run.

Crystal Cities are: Geoff Rana, vocals, guitar; Jared King, bass, backing vocals; and Daniel Conte, drums, percussion.

New album capstones include compelling orchestration on the cinematic title track. “Under the Cold Light of the Moon” was inspired by the plight of North Korean defector Park Yeon-mi, and her escape to freedom. “After watching her speech, I penned the lyrics, interpreting her story,” says guitarist and vocalist Geoff Rana.

In the studio we used my home demo as our template for the production,” he told us recently via email. “The studio was a great place to explore and experiment further with different textures and layers, but at the end of the day it stayed pretty true to the original demo.”

A sampling: “The stars they will conspire / Line up against the night

Now the head it does remember / Why the heart it needs to fight.”

Have a listen:

Under the Cold Light of the Moon

Also commendable from the new album are reflective “Carve Our Names Into the Sun” and wistfully engaging “Could You Love Me Again.” 

About the latter, Rana says “We wanted to have a section in the song that really allowed the strings to sing and have their moment in the spotlight. So, we allowed for that to happen there.” Have a listen:

Could You Love Me Again

“I feel like Crystal Cities has found its home with this body of work,” says Rana.

Might’ve been nice to have had hit single “Who’s Gonna Save Us Now” re-recorded at the legendary Abbey Roads Studios, but one can’t have everything (and the track still stands strong two years later).

You can find music by Crystal Cities at your favorite music store, on their website or on iTunes.

Cynthia Orlando
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