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When the Chapel Hill alt-country band Trailer Bride broke up, frontwoman Melissa Swingle formed The Moaners with fellow Chapel Hill scenester Laura King. The duo have released three albums of blues-drenched indie rock, most recently Nocturnal, from which the track “Humid Air” is drawn.
It’s definitely a well-titled track, as it does conjure up the feeling of a damp, sticky southern night when all sorts of unsavory business might be taking place. Mixing a somewhat woozy guitar line with Swingle’s languid vocals and King’s crisp percussion fills, it sounds a lot like an old Opal or Mazzy Star album that’s been left in the sun a little too long and has gotten a bit warped – David Roback definitely wouldn’t have been ashamed to claim the track as his own creation.
The Moaners weave a powerful atmosphere with “Humid Air,” lending a creepy, ominous tone to the lyrics’ description of an empty roadside flea market. “I’ve been there,” Swingle sings, “if only in a nightmare.” Lord only knows what she must have come across in the dusty tables of junk and cast-offs, but whatever it was spooked a memorable song out of her.