Published Jun 07, 2016There's a small semantic difference between My Best Human Face and Moonface and Siinai's previous collaboration, 2012's Heartbreaking Bravery. That record was credited to Moonface with Siinai, but here, the two partners are given equal billing. Whether or not it was deliberate, it nevertheless identifies one of the album's biggest strengths: the dynamic interplay between vocalist Spencer Krug (Moonface's sole proprietor, also of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown) and the instrumentalists of Siinai.
While Heartbreaking Bravery was excellent, it was Krug singing on top of Siinai's chugging guitars. On My Best Human Face, the two units transcend the sum of their parts, drawing from prog and Krautrock and relying on synths over guitars. The lengthy songs are given frequent instrumental kicks, like the spidery synths of "Them Call Themselves Old Punks" and soft-rock bass on "City Wrecker," to keep them chugging onward. Unlike Heartbreaking Bravery, this record is occasionally fun and head bob-worthy, as evidenced by the jittery groove of "Prairie Boy."
But the record's secret weapon is neither Moonface nor Siinai: it's vocalists Amy Weinberg and Marieke Voorhoeve, whose duets with Krug and angelic, choral background vocals bring a colossal space to the sound. Krug's duets with then-partner Camilla Wynne Ingr had a similar effect on Sunset Rubdown's Odyssean epics, and their contributions give My Best Human Face that epic quality that Krug's lyrics — introspective jaunts through self-discovery and mythology — beg for.
Over seven tracks, Moonface and Siinai expertly pair Krug's iconic warble with instrumental propulsion that showcases a more positive and collaborative side to the team's sound. Krug may have moved away from Siinai's native Finland, but if this is their last outing together, it marks a positive bow out on a great team-up. (Jagjaguwar)