MoPodna – ‘i can save me’

A dynamic electronic album from New Orleans-based artist MoPodna, i can save me enamors across both heartfelt balladry and danceable pop infectiousness. MoPodna, who also drums in synthpop band People Museum, also collaborates on the album with a trio of talented artists: Tif Lamson (GIVERS), Claire Givens (People Museum), and Julie Odell. Their contributions meld with MoPodna’s riveting production, tied within themes related to the artist’s significant life changes over the past four years; the result is an introspective, replay-inducing success.

The opening track “i’m nasty” wastes no time in showcasing the project’s atmospheric engrossment. Twinkling keys kickstart the track, more in line with a nighttime embrace. Wordless vocal effects and clanging bass assemble thereafter, culminating in a catchy groove that persists throughout — complemented by glimmering twinkles and Julie Odell’s dreamy vocals. Also featuring Odell, “satsuma” follows with a delectably grimier tint in its buzzingly sporadic synths. The vocals build invitingly, with visions of new breezes and tranquil sunshine, into a summer-y pop hook; the one-minute turn dazzles with its various vocal layers and pulsating synth effervescence.

A palpable momentum is apparent on the beautiful “face down on the guest bed,” where lush vocal immersion and starry-eyed synth tones combine for a captivating sense of yearning. With shades of Toro y Moi and George Clanton, the subsequent “is that the way?” succeeds in both its bouncy pop minimalism and more expressive rises; the production is another showcase of MoPodna’s dynamic prowess — from the serene “I see you when I fall asleep,” admittances into the bright and sticky synth additions that follow.

“the dream / waking up” plays as a fitting mid-point within the album, leading with a contemplative blissfulness as gentle keys and “where am I?” vocal questioning craft an otherworldly, yet peaceful, intrigue. “This is nice,” the spoken-word vocal lets out, as buzzing synth pulses emerge infectiously; a nostalgic, wistfully understated interlude stirs thereafter. “sacrifice” brings listeners back to a vibrant pop immediacy, particularly driven by throbbing bass lines and glistening components, intertwining seamlessly. The stutter-y, gorgeous vocal elements play alongside with a smitten melodic entrancement; Tif Lamson’s contributions on this track are fantastic.

Even on a more minimalist effort, like the piano-laden balladry of “jaws of life” and finale “best friends,” there’s a memorably atmospheric tone to the production. “My special jaws of life to save,” the vocals let out at one point on the former, with subtle synth aspects bolstering the calming piano elements. Aspirations to “change my ways,” proves fitting within an album that captures the impact of life changes. “stay” conjures a late-night, heart-aching appeal; Claire Givens’ vocals yearn for a pause, where one stays for another round or day, and does so within a melodically fulfilling soulfulness. i can save me is a fantastic album from MoPodna, excelling in both emotiveness and danceable electro-pop pursuits.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.