Space, a Fine Frontier
Lockdown has been hard. An obvious statement, I know, but I can’t help but be amazed at how some of us were able to survive it. Even if we were lucky enough that tragedy did not strike our homes and loved ones, some of us still lost our jobs, got sick, and were cut off from our support networks, turning routines upside down and straining our wallets. Needless to say, our mental health suffered from it all - and moa moa knows this.
An exploration of hope amidst isolation, the London-based band has returned with a five-part animation mini-series on YouTube: Please, Slow Me Down. Animated by Tom Sharp, it tells the story of astronaut Claes, his troubled intergalactic journey, and a group of gutsy bees.
If you are an avid SMPM reader, you'll have heard us talk about moa moa before. In my review for their single ‘Yellow Jacket’ back in February, I praised them for their inventiveness as a band and their ability to craft a rich story with their lyrics. Please, Slow Me Down, which moa moa and Sharp put together during lockdown, is short enough that I am better off leaving the details of its narrative entirely untouched, but suffice to say that they have absolutely worked their magic again. This mini-series expertly interweaves its two complementing storylines in a way that only enhances its pacing and tone and, considering how short it is, does a wonderful job of getting you invested in its stylised, smoothly animated characters, making this new work not only pretty to look at, but intriguing to follow.
Its soundtrack is also a treat for the ears. moa moa’s signature sound of loud, distorted guitars and muffled voices fit in wonderfully with not only the claustrophobia produced by Claes’ spaceship, but also with the overwhelming agoraphobia stemming from the vastness of the universe. Their music punctuates character reveals and events in the plot to the point that it almost becomes diegetic - creating static, or the sound of a ship bursting through clouds. If that all doesn't sound compelling enough by itself, in an act of artistic altruism they have also begun raising money for mental health charity Mind by selling download links to these songs along with a zine full of illustrations from their mini-series.
In this context, then, Please, Slow Me Down is special. It is an attempt to make a difference and a little gem of hopeful creativity in a time when hope itself is fickle. Considering its quality, the series' current view count on YouTube is criminal. So, give it a watch, consider buying their zine and, even if you don’t, try reaching out to a friend today. Ask how they’re doing. Share something about your own life and maybe, time-and-place permitting, try to link up for a socially-distanced walk. After all, as moa moa likes to remind us, there is strength in numbers, power in connection and, yes, even hope in loneliness.
Ainhoa Santos Goikoetxea (pronounced "I-know-ah") is a culturally confused third-year English literature student from the Basque Country, Spain. She is passionate about film, music and politics, and she should probably know more than she does about all three. Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England. Subscribe to our mailing list below to be alerted every time a post is published on the site.