Cincinnati singer-songwriter Moegly (a.k.a. Nicholas Moeggenberg) is one of those dreamy, skinny, intelligent boys who always go over well with the coffee shop crowd. His debut five-song (well, six with the hidden track) EP, It’s Getting Hard to Find Good People, is a smooth, gentle Indie Folk effort that sounds especially good in its jumpier moments.
While I’m sure sparse, super-mellow tracks—ones that make up roughly half of what’s offered on Good People (“A Choice between Poses and Paper” and “The Most Believable Story Told,” which feature such super-sensitive lyrics as “These choppy seas are starting to get the better of me”)—make those bespectacled, latte-sipping chicks swoon, they don’t offer much in the way of sticking power. The songs aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they reveal nothing really memorable or original about our budding Folk bard. Thankfully, Moegly indulges in the increasingly insufferable gently-plucked-acoustic-guitar-and-whispery-vocal-delivery formula, a la Iron and Wine, only occasionally.
That being said, Moegly was wise enough to balance the molasses-paced, ultra-introspective singer-songwriter tunes with more up-tempo, multi-instrumentalized pieces that resemble chilled-out Pop songs more than soul-searching solo tracks—and reveal a lot more about what the man has to offer. He recruited a drummer to provide an adequate backbeat and then busted out the multi-tracker to lay down some banjo, organ, vocal harmonies and kinda-Math-rocky electric guitar lines atop his otherwise bare-bones songs.
Good move, as opening track “The Reason behind the Aversion for a Film” and the dynamic, nodding “I Think You’re onto Something Mr. Locke” prove. Assuming you overlook the pretentious/head-scratch-inducing titles, these songs really work. They break free from the constraints of the Indie Folk genre tag because they sound more like charming Rock anthems in miniature than cloying, self-reflective diary entries.
According to Moegly’s MySpace page, he’s got an upcoming show in Rome, of all places, on July 6. So it’s a good bet to assume he won’t be back around the old homestead for a little while. But you can pick up a copy of Good People in the meantime. Settle into your favorite coffee shop corner with a cup of strong espresso and give the CD a spin, and perhaps Moegly’ll appear before you when you least expect it.