The Soft Moon (aka multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez) shares the video for latest single Become The Lies, the thrashing dark wave banger lifted from ‘Exister,’ the powerful, vulnerably therapeutic new full-length album, due out September 23rd, 2022 via Sacred Bones Records. The Become The Lies single release is accompanied by a perfectly stirring, expressive video starring Vasquez, directed by Wiggy & Nick Blanco.
Luis Vasquez shares: “I had an identity crisis after discovering dark secrets about my family’s past. This happened while I was writing the album and it destroyed me. Become The Lies expresses how everything I thought I knew about my life was untrue. Lies, shame and guilt have been a recurring theme in my music. I explored it in ‘Criminal,’ but during the writing process of Exister I became more self-aware and finally understood that I was never the liar in the story. I wanted to dance in the video to contrast with the lack of control I felt over my life in that moment. It’s my way of shaking off the bad stuff. It’s also an escape from the seriousness of this song.” Watch the video for Become The Lies via YouTube below.
Become The Lies follows the June release of jolting lead single Him which came with the album’s announcement and features a collaboration with fish narc, who appears with Vasquez in the turbulent video for the track, also directed by Wiggy & Nick Blanco. The Needle Drop named the song a Best Track of the week, saying “Goth alert, the goths need to hear this one I think… it’s heavy, it’s quite dark, it’s groovy, it’s very heavily manipulated on the vocal side, it’s a weird a$$ f*&%ing track!”.
The Soft Moon has plans for extensive 2022 Tour Dates in North America and overseas which begin in late September and continue through December. SEE ALL DATES BELOW.
Sep 26 Hamburg, DE – U&G
Sep 27 Berlin, DE – So36
Sep 28 Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz
Sep 29 Cologne, DE – Gebaude9
Sep 30 Poznan, PL – Próżność
Oct 01 Warsaw, PL – Praga Centrum
Oct 02 Krakow, PL – Klub Muzyczny Poczta Główna
Oct 03 Prague, CZ – Futurum
Oct 04 Munich, DE – Hansa 39
Oct 05 Pordenone, IT – Capitol
Oct 06 Rome, IT – Monk
Oct 07 Milan, IT – Santeria
Oct 08 Bologna, IT – Covo
Oct 10 Toulouse, FR – Le Connexion
Oct 11 Vigo, ES – Master Club
Oct 12 Lisbon, PT – LAV room 2
Oct 13 Madrid, ES – La Casa Encendida
Oct 14 Zaragoza, ES – Jardín de Invierno
Oct 15 Barcelona, ES – Nitsa Club (La (2) de Apolo)
Oct 17 Lyon, FR – Epicerie Moderne
Oct 18 Zurich, CH – Mascotte Club
Oct 19 Gent, BE – Handelsbeurs
Oct 20 Lille, FR – Le Grand Mix
Oct 21 Luxembourg, LU – Kulturfabrik
Oct 22 Brussels, BE – Beursschouwburg
Oct 24 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Noord
Oct 25 Nijmegen, NL – Doornroosje
Oct 26 Groningen, NL – VERA
Oct 27 London, UK – The Garage
Oct 28 Amiens, FR – La Lune des Pirates
Oct 29 Paris, FR – Trabendo
Nov 09 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
Nov 10 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Nov 11 Washington, DC – The Howard Theatre
Nov 12 Richmond, VA – The Broadberry
Nov 13 Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
Nov 14 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Hell Stage)
Nov 16 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s
Nov 17 Houston, TX – Numbers
Nov 18 Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum Art Co
Nov 19 Austin, TX – Mohawk
Nov 21 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Nov 25 Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater
Nov 26 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
Nov 29 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Nov 30 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
Dec 01 Seattle, WA – Neumos
Dec 02 Boise, ID – The Olympic
Dec 03 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Dec 04 Denver, CO – The Oriental Theatre
Dec 06 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line
Dec 07 Chicago, IL – Metro
Dec 08 Detroit, MI – El Club
Dec 09 Toronto, ON – The Opera House
Dec 10 Montreal, QC – S.A.T.
Dec 11 Boston, MA – The Sinclair
More information about ‘Exister’
“The whole point of this record was to share every emotion that I feel,” says The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez. “No two songs are the same. It’s about existing in the world as a human being and experiencing many emotions and experiences throughout life.”
And so hence the title ‘Exister,’ a record rooted in the ecstatic joys and crippling lows that life can throw up and how just hanging on and existing is sometimes all we have. “Exister is my way of saying ‘I’m here, deal with it.’” Vasquez says.
The reason the album exists as such a personal one for Vasquez is because his life underwent a lot of changes throughout its creation. He left Berlin, his home of many years, and moved to the Joshua Tree to find some space musically, and personally, during lockdown. “I had a ton more freedom than I’ve ever had,” he says. For one, he could actually play drums, which he’s never been able to do before due to space constraints. Even his first album, which was typified by his whispering vocal style, was because of his neighbor situation. In the Joshua Tree, he could unleash himself and let rip and the clearest, and most symbolic result of that, is the prominent, powerful vocals of Vasquez that truly capture someone gaining confidence in their own voice. “I always complained that I never had enough freedom to do everything I wanted,” he says. “This time I literally had everything at my disposal.”
Sonically, this expression is a vast, expansive and potent one. The opening Sad Song, which unfurls with a dense brooding atmosphere, Vasquez describes as almost a ballad, while tracks such as The Pit capture the opposite end of the musical spectrum, exploding as a thundering piece of industrial techno complete with gut-churning levels of bass.
Monster – a song that follows a human metamorphosis into an unrecognizable and destructive being – seamlessly combines a deeply melodic, almost electro pop, vocal hook with slowly building atmospherics to create something equally beautiful and unsettling. Become the Lies explores the devastating consequences of being lied to by your own family and is a post-punk stomper, merging charging basslines, pummelling drums, and snaking guitars, all of which combine explosively. Elsewhere the album runs the gauntlet of everything from ambient to dark wave – featuring ferocious guest contributions from fish narc and Special Interest’s Alli Logout on Him and Unforgiven – all while retaining that distinct tone that unmistakably The Soft Moon.
It felt like something of a musical reset for Vasquez, who had come out of making his last album, ‘Criminal,’ with some frustrations about the process and end result. “This is the first record where I felt completely detached from my career because of COVID and not touring,” he says. “It felt like all those years before were just a dream. I was trying to write music as if I was starting completely over.” This is also reflected in a new lyrical approach that embraced stream of consciousness delivery, allowing Vasquez to tap into the more pure and raw parts of his inner self.
Another part of this starting again was hoping to make amends with some difficult family situations that had existed from childhood, but the opposite ended up happening and it changed the direction and shape of the record, as he went through a “roller coaster of conflicts” with his mother, which was further exacerbated when his uncle came out of prison after 40 years. “I thought I was done with the album when I found out about family secrets that were so disturbing, I reached breaking point,” he says. “I was overwhelmed and angry. All that pain had to go somewhere and it went into the songs.”
A photo of Vasquez as a child is the album cover and it’s representative of a record that involved reconnecting with his younger self, with a mother-son relationship at the center of the album. “It’s my child self that you hear all over it,” he says. “I was reminiscing and hurting a lot during the writing process. This is possibly my most vulnerable record yet.”
However, despite the pain, anger, vulnerability, and hurt that can be found at the core of this record, there’s also a profound sense of hope and beauty. This transition from a place of discomfort to one of relief is key for Vasquez when making a record and going through a process of healing. It’s been a cathartic process for an artist who can find the creative process quite torturous and fear-inducing. “My main goal is always to express something on the very deepest level possible,” he says. “But to channel that I have to go deep into myself to bring that out. It can be dark.”
However, a key point of reaching deep within himself during the creative process is so the end musical result can act as a bridge. “It’s for other people too,” he says. “I want them to feel things – to not feel alone and to connect. It just makes me feel lighter and a little happier with my life getting shit off my chest.”
On the closing Exister, the album seems to reach a place of peace and solace, ending on a quiet, reflective and poignant moment that captures a sense of optimism after a period of upheaval. “I love that feeling of going through turmoil and then knowing that there’s that light at the end of the tunnel,” says Vasquez. “It’s kind of heroic. It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain.”
‘Exister‘ track listing
Become The Lies
Face Is Gone
Him (Feat. fish narc)
Unforgiven (Feat. Alli Logout)
Pre-Order/Save ‘Exister’ out September 23, 2022 via Sacred Bones Records here.