26 April 2020 (released)
19 May 2020
The dreamy, 'just woke up from a plane nap in a new country' vibe of the title track 'Overnight Flight' perfectly encapsulates trans-Pacific singer-songwriter Todd Warner Moore's oeuvre of sleepy, thoughtful, and hypnotic tunes. Originally from Kansas City, Kansas and residing for the last nine years in Hong Kong, the troubadour writes contemplative tracks that bare that same sense of reflection one gets on a long flight. Moore has the delicate vocal delivery of Elliott Smith minus the pouting, depressive inflection. The overall mood of the Overnight Flight album is positive with darker modalities serving to transparently and non-judgmentally portray the inherent gravity of life rather than dwelling in pain or depression.
The aforementioned lead-off track has hints of Neil Young's 'Expecting To Fly' with its feather caught in a breeze levity mixed with the woozy haze of personal reflection. Moore strums warmly assured chords while penning a message to the companion he will be seeing on the other side of this transcontinental red-eye. Creamy steel guitar bathes in reverb creating a pillow of clouds on which the track rests.
'Suns' has the feel of a time-lapse video of an African landscape where the sun briskly rises as the plain comes alive. Winds billow through the grass, clouds drift in to release their oasis-filling showers, and the sun careens across the sky to seek out its resting place for the night. This revelatory trip through the cycles of the earth is echoed by the weight of sinking into a rich minor chord, of which this song is replete. Moore sings a compelling duet with a female vocalist, striking a balance between interlinked duality. The chorus chords parallel Radiohead's 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)' and evoke an equally pensive vibe. The track is among the album's best.
'Rite of Rain' is one of two instrumental offerings on the album providing us with a warm respite from concern, letting language melt away. The high finger-picked guitar emulates a light spring sprinkling while a gentle violin hails in the season of renewal with a parent-like sense of security. A welcome break, meditative and transportive.
Featured track 'Masks (Fever Dreams)' lays back on a surrealist western tone. Woozy steel guitar, a sauntering bass line, and earnestly strummed guitar soundtrack this psychedelia-tinged slow-waltz. Imagine psych-rock western purveyors Federale with the lofty vocal delivery of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. Moore's lyrics are very au courant, referencing our current predicament “Masks over faces
/Fragments of places/Smell of the sea/Tropical trees/Wild rumours heard/Flu from the birds/Blood from the bats/Filth from the rats”.
'Blossoming (The Other Side)' finishes off the album with another instrumental, mirroring the calm and wonder of its earlier sister song. Overnight Flight is a welcome dose of calm (even when broaching inflammatory subjects), measured and mild. 'Suns' and 'Masks (Fever Dreams) stick out as standout tracks, where Moore harnesses the power and wonder of psychedelic sonics to create a nebulous, entrancing atmosphere with his most insightful lyrics.