redsleep, the 2021 release from Full Mood is a master class in actual mood. Anyone that is a fan of dream pop, shoegaze or the feeling of disconnected melancholy will be right at home. With the newest single, “Ask Me To Dance,” you can tell within five seconds that the outfit is ushering in some new moods; different and enhanced from their previous work.
Not only is there a flurry of strings to start the track (a wonderful new addition to the band’s sonic palette) but their implementation is entirely surprising; an intentional glitch that grabs you before diving into an elated crooning. Lyrically, our narrator seems to be following along with the title of the track – yearning to be invited to dance, to be noticed. It’s a familiar melancholy from redsleep but now layered with optimistic undertones, empowered vibes and seemingly something stronger that was not present before. The track completely dives down the rabbit hole at about 3:40 and unleashes a bevy of giant drums, drug-addled narration and various samples. It’s a fever dream of the strange and delightful.
Unable to help myself, I inquired with the band what the story behind the fever dream was – a compelling twist to an altogether enjoyable song. They informed me that the warbled talk is actually a cowboy poem about being thrown and getting back up again, mixed with elements of the literal Cinderella story. It’s all thematically consistent with the first half of the song; persistence through pain. It also requires multiple lines as fully comprehending each layer just enriches the enjoyment of the track.
On previous releases, Full Mood’s sound had a clear line of sight to their contemporaries – Beach House, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, et al – but with “Ask Me To Dance”, Miranda McLaughlin and Nick Morelly are striking out on into their own into uncharted territory. I, for one, can’t wait to see where else they go.