At the tail end of April, I marked today on my calendar. Why? That was the week I included Molly Moore‘s single “No Stress” in my Take 5 column, and I knew I needed to listen to her EP when it came out. My instincts did not lead me astray. Moore released her four song EP Third Eye High today, and it’s everything fans could have hoped for in an EP. Each song showcases a new wrinkle or idea, while still containing a strong unifying indie pop brilliance. If her singles did not already sell you on Molly Moore, the Third Eye High EP cements her as a rising force in indie pop.
Third Eye High begins with “Tough Love,” and the warbling synths immediately draw listeners into Moore’s pop world. The sound of the track fits the title as theme, as Moore sings about sticking in a relationship through the hard times. As she sings, a deep, booming instrumental evolves around her, with bass that kicks without overpowering and a truly slick guitar line. There’s also an interesting rattling throughout the track that adds a little layer of percussion to flesh “Tough Love” out. Moore has already shown off her vocal versatility before the track ends, as well. Moore can turn her voice soft and airy for poppier melodies before putting an edge into her voice when things get intense.
“No Stress” follows, and I already knew I loved this track from April. Third Eye High‘s second track may be the most traditionally “pop” song of the EP, and this isn’t a bad thing. “No Stress” could and should be dominating pop playlists throughout the summer off the back of its captivating electo-pop drive and smart production. There are moments throughout each of the songs on Third Eye High that reveal the depths of the songwriting, little details to pick out on each listen. For example, the buildup to the musical chorus on “No Stress” features a smart melody that finds Moore’s pitch descending on each word before leaping back up at the start of the next phrase. It’s engaging and captivating, and I love how many of those small songwriting wonders appear on the EP.
“Catch And Release” is the most laid-back of Moore’s tracks here, the perfect music for lounging around your home on a cozy evening. There’s a wonderful swing to “Catch And Release,” and you can tell that Moore had a great time recording it, which translates into a joy in the music the listener can sense. So many instruments and synths make an appearance here, and it would be easy for the sheer complexity of the song to overwhelm and eat itself. Instead, Moore balances the bounce in her voice perfectly with a mix that makes sure the exact instrument that needs to be front and center makes its way there. “Catch and Release” might be one of Moore’s most mellow songs, but it’s also one of her most musically rich offerings.
Third Eye High ends on “Lighten Up,” and it’s the perfect conclusion to this electo-pop journey. The decision to center the finger snaps prominently in the instrumental was smart, as it gives an analog grounding to secure the spacey synths, the two parts working perfectly off of one another. The chorus here is brilliant as well, a staccato blast of Moore’s voice and spiking synths giving way to a flowing melody and instrumental. It’s a perfect balance that illustrates the overall thought, care, and musical excellence that Moore has put into Third Eye High.
It’s not an exaggeration to call Third Eye High my favorite EP of 2018 so far. Molly Moore has crafted an EP that perfectly encapsulates all that she has to offer. Across four songs, Moore showcases a strong and impactful voice, an ear for indie pop songwriting, and a knack for fantastic production. Molly Moore is an ascendent indie pop star, and Third Eye High is all the proof you need of that.
Featured photo credit: Jennica Abrams