Led by 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, 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, the Austin, TX-based dream pop act Moving Panoramas can trace their origins to when its founding member and creative mastermind returned home to Texas to be closer to the members of her previous full-time band The Wooden Birds and her to her family. Sisson took a job teaching music 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; however, since the band’s formation and release of their debut effort One, the band has gone through a series off lineup changes that has result in Sisson collaborating with a rotating cast of previous bandmates, as well as current bandmates Cara Tillman, Jordan Rivell, Jody Suarez and Phil McJunkins.
Moving Panoramas’ sophomore album In Two was delayed by a series of unexpected roadblocks during its production — i.e., health and timing issues — that delayed its release until February 22, 2019 through Modern Outsider Records. Recorded with engineer Louie Lino at Resonate Studio in Austin, the band’s sophomore effort reportedly finds the band expanding upon their sound and songwriting approach, as there’s a concerted effort for diversity in rhythm, volume and instrumentation, including the incorporation of pedal steel. Along with that the album features 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. Now, as you may recall, last year I wrote about 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; however, underneath the self-assured performances is the recognition of time rushing by, of people moving in and out of your life — without knowing why, how or even when.
Much like its predecessor, “ADD Heart,” In Two’s latest single is an infectious slice of anthemic rock with jangling guitars, Sisson’s ethereal vocals and a soaring hook — but steel pedal guitar adds a cinematic, alt country vibe to the proceedings. Thematically, the song focuses on an inattentive and inconstant love interest, who has the song’s narrator spinning in frustration emotionally because the love interest just can’t seem to focus on one thing at any given time. It’s an accurate description of what love and dating is like in the social media age if there ever was one.
The recently released video for the song was directed by Willi Patton, and as Patton says in press notes, “We were honored to be approached by Leslie Sisson of Moving Panoramas to do a music video for their new single, ‘ADD Heart.’ I knew immediately upon hearing the song that the energy needed to be high, and I really wanted to capture the feeling of not being able to focus, narratively as if the video itself suffers from ADD. It pushes you along in one direction, only to quickly switch course, pick up on some other thread, leaving more unanswered questions than resolutions. We’re always so grateful to musicians for letting us experiment, to treat their work as a solid canvas to splash some paint on, deconstruct and then clumsily attempt to put back together.”