Off and on over the past handful of years, I’ve written a bit about the Austin, TX-based dream pop act and JOVM mainstays Moving Panoramas. The act is led by its incredibly accomplished founding member and creative mastermind Leslie Sisson (vocals, guitar), who has had stints in The Wooden Birds, Matt Pond PA, Western Keys, Black Lipstick, Black Forest Fire, Tanworth-in-Arden, and Aero Wave, has collaborated with The American Analog Set, Windsor for the Derby, Rhythm of Black Lines, RIDE’s Mark Gardener, Dan Mangan, John Wesley Coleman, Snowden, and Broken Social Scene, and has developed a reputation as a solo artist in her own right.
Now, as you may recall Moving Panoramas can trace their origins back to when the then-Brooklyn-based Sisson returned home to Texas to be closer to the members of her previous band The Wooden Birds and to her family. She took a job teaching at School of Rock where she met Rozie Castoe (bass), who was in an 80s-themed show that Sisson directed. Interestingly, at the same time, Sisson took up a gig subbing in Black Forest Fire with Karen Skloss (drums), who was a long-time friend. When each of their various creative projects broke up, the trio started Moving Panoramas, rooted in their mutual love of shoegaze and released their full-length debut One. However, since then the band has gone through a series of lineup changes that has resulted in Sisson collaborating with a rotating cast of previous bandmates and current bandmates Cara Tillman, Jordan Rivell, Jody Suarez and Phil McJunkins.
Slated for release next Friday through Modern Outsider Records, Moving Panoramas’ sophomore album In Two was recorded with engineer Louie Lino at Resonate Studio in Austin and the album reportedly finds the band expanding upon their sound and songwriting approach. Throughout the writing and recording process, there was a concerted effort to consider diversity in rhythm, volume and instrumentation; in fact, some of the album’s material incorporates pedal steel, a first for the band. Additionally, the album will feature guest spots from Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, A Giant Dog’s and Sweet Spirit’s Sabrina Ellis and former bandmates Karen Skloss, Jolie Flink and Laura Colwell.
Last year, I wrote album single “Baby Blues,” a decidedly anthemic track centered around shimmering power chords, a propulsive rhythm section, ethereal vocals and a soaring hook. And while bringing to mind tracks off Sunflower Bean’s Twentytwo in Blue, the track possesses elements of psych rock, shoegaze and 70s arena rock, performed with the easygoing self-assuredness of old pros. Earlier this year, I wrote about album single, “ADD Heart” and much like its predecessor, it was an infectious and anthemic track centered around jangling guitars, Sisson’s ethereal vocals, a soaring hook and steel pedal guitar, which added an alt-country vibe to the proceedings. In Two’s latest single is the shimmering and moody “In Tune,” which features Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws — and while sonically bearing a resemblance to Dum Dum Girls, the hook driven song is centered by deeply introspective, narrative lyrics that focuses on self-doubt, uncertainty and confusion in a relationship that feels a bit off to both people involved.