The German duo Patty Moon have twelve years of experience enchanting listeners with albums that tell enigmatic stories. They are back again with a new record, which delves into the subconscious.
Patty Moon: actually, a dreamy German duo
Judith Heusch has an unusual kinship with fairytales. When she sees pictures of a goose named Mimi from the whimsical German fairy tale "Zwerg Nase," she says she experiences something like déjà vu.
But the musician has no explanation for the connection she feels to the story. In fact, it's not even her favorite fairytale, but the goose character has worked her way into the title of Heusch's new album, "Mimi and Me."
Together with her long-time friend and guitarist Tobias Schwab, Heusch records under the name Patty Moon. It's a word mix from one of their own songs, "Patty Peppermint," with the jazz classic, "Me and the Moon." From the names alone, it's clear that the duo are out to set a dreamy mood with their music.
Singing in pictures
Judith Heusch has long had an affinity for mysticism. Now in her early 40s, she grew up in a house in the woods, where an upturned root or patches of ivy could quickly transform themselves into the most remarkable things in her imagination.
Patty Moon's "Mimi and Me" was released in January, 2011 and is available for download online
Images from the stories she's been telling and reading since she was young find their way onto Patty Moon's albums again and again. Many of her songs also come about while she's drawing; Heusch develops illustrations and figures for school books on the side.
Tobias Schwab translates her ideas, inspirations and texts into atmospheric musical arrangements. The end product is a series of songs that come about organically from two musicians who can think as one.
'Childlike' but not shallow
The songs on "Mimi and me" came about in a relatively short amount of time. Many of the ideas bubbled up from Heusch's subconscious as she sat at the piano, she said, adding that she just played and gave her thoughts freedom to roam.
That may be what makes the album easier to understand than its predecessors - many of the tales and thoughts in the songs sound a bit childlike. But that doesn't mean you can call the album superficial, Heusch argues.
In the song "Painting Horses," she sings about sketching horses that jump out from the picture and whisk her away.
"Sometimes I paint until I disappear into a kind of intoxicated state," Heusch said. "By drawing and making music, I can deal with life better." She thinks of the world as too complicated, impenetrable and sometimes even a bit boring.
"What I find truly important is in stories, images and songs," the singer said.
Heusch put Edgar Allen Poe on the new album by way of a haunting and famous poem
Most of the songs on "Mimi and Me" address dealing with life and existential angst. And for a final touch of mysticism on the album, Heusch turned to author Edgar Allen Poe, setting a version of his poem, "The Raven," to song.
Many of Patty Moon's albums sound as if they were made for film, and this time around, three of the "Mimi and Me" songs will make their way to the big screen - at least in Germany. They'll be featured in a movie by director Hans W. Geißendörfer to hit theaters in Spring 2011.
Author: Antje Hollunder / gsw
Editor: Louisa Schaefer