The second solo album by Diva Dompe finds the L.A. art-psych underground veteran -- even at a young age, she's already such a figure -- working on sculpting a distinct electronic-based sound that at its best suggests the genre-fluid work of a figure like Anna Domino in the 1980s, less interested in being a product of one's time than a potential interpreter using all the possibilities to hand. That Moon Moods can move between the new jack swing retro tinge of "Smooth Ride" -- which intriguingly suggests another earlier analog might be Martika as much as anyone else -- to the '50s tearjerker "Lonely Drive" and the vaudeville-meets-synth ballad of "Inverted Image" and yet still feel cohesively coming from the same central artistic source is a good sign all around. It all opens on a bit of electronic pop that feels like a return to 1985, but remains something that eschews chillwave fuzz for lo-fi but with precise clarity and conversational singing, which "Cyborg Sweetie" then plays up further. It also includes a sense of 21st century indie thanks to the weird levels and mixing, an intentional klutzy/clean coldness especially evident in the break, somewhere between Glasser and Laura Branigan but finding its own balanced place to be. Add in other moments like "Teardrops in the Purple Dimension" -- a genteel kind of trippiness that couldn't be better suited for an appearance from Diva's father, Bauhaus/Love and Rockets veteran Kevin Haskins -- and the gothy indie disco of "Feline Divine," and Moon Moods lives up to its name by showing there's definitely more than one emotional beat at work throughout.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett