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L.A.-based alternative R&B trio Moonchild are known for their spaced-out, Soulquarians-inspired grooves and the wispy, at-ease vocals of Amber Navran. Their lush, understated sound and synthesis of electronic and organic instruments evolved over the course of several records, as they toured with big-name stars and established a healthy following of their own with albums like 2019′s critically praised Little Ghost and its 2022 follow-up, Starfruit.
The members of Moonchild met at the University of Southern California and started the band in 2011, the lineup consisting of vocalist Navran (also a clarinetist and saxophonist) and fellow multi-instrumentalists Max Bryk (keyboards, saxophone, clarinet) and Andris Mattson (keyboards, trumpet, flügelhorn). The group self-released their debut album, Be Free, in 2012, not long after forming. Moonchild subsequently joined the roster of the independent U.K. label Tru Thoughts, where they continued to refine their sound with Please Rewind (2015) and Voyager (2017), the latter of which added harp and other stringed instrumentation to their blissed-out compositions. They’ve opened for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Georgia Anne Muldrow and, true to their genre-crossing appeal, have been featured together on recordings headlined by Detroit musician Brandon Williams (“Leave Love Be”) and hip-hop producer Tall Black Guy (“I Will Never Know”). The band’s output has also been sampled, as heard on Mac Miller’s “Two Matches.”
Outside Moonchild, Navran, Bryk, and Mattson have worked as both solo artists and collaborators. In 2018, the duo issued the single “Get to Know It” ahead of the arrival of the full-length Little Ghost, which was released in September 2019. A companion set of instrumentals from the album, aptly titled Little Ghost Instrumentals, appeared a month later. In 2021, the band started sharing new songs from their fifth LP, Starfruit, beginning with the laid-back and jazzy “Too Good,” and the record arrived in February 2022. ~ Andy Kellman