“Bug,” PAGING DOCTOR MOON‘s second project, has an instrumental mix that is exactly what you might expect from the Western Pennsylvania-based band. In a statement, vocalist Kirsten Heibert says, “‘Bug’ is a short story of self-reflection in relation to codependency and loss. We wanted to take a step forward from our first album and explore a more textured soundscape, focusing on using the voice as an instrument.”

“Bug” is a stunningly beautiful record of dreamy, hazy, and melancholic songs, setting a high bar and an atmospheric rumination right from the start.

The 5-track EP opens with ‘Come Home,’ an excellent introduction to the band’s catchy yet alt-indie musical journey. There is a beautiful counterbalance between the melodic vocals and the instrumental’s rhythmic pulse. The track is likely to be enough to convince many of you to jump on board.

This is followed up with the delightfully beautiful ‘I Just Wanna,’ which ideally matches simple percussion and playful guitar-led arrangements. It’s only fair to say that the music is exquisite; in fact, “Bug” is a collection of beautifully crafted songs dressed in dream-pop/rock-infused ambiance. The influences become far more evident with ‘No Good’ and ‘Can’t fall asleep.’

Throughout the EP, the accent is on Kirsten Heibert’s intriguing and, above all, pleasing voice and excellent lyrics. It’s hard not to be drawn into a world where vocals shine and instruments reinforce a funky atmosphere. If that’s not enough, next comes the closer, Stay,’ that’s so impressive and soulful, so, so fine.

It’s a real delight to listen to “Bug”; and, on finishing, to go back to the start and find it all as great again. ‘Stay’ is an absolute joy, especially from minute 1:33. The engagingly upbeat music is packed with catchy vocal hooks, adding a different texture, yet an attractive way to close a rather impressive record.

In many cases, records need a few listens to work their magic. But “Bug” is pretty much all there from the get-go. These are the songs I believe stand firmly on their own feet, creating an EP that works equally well in the car, on the headphones, in a sweaty club, or in the concert hall.

The entire product, with vocals, instruments, songwriting, and production, feels quite timeless, and listening to any random track is likely enough to want to hear more. Hear me out, turn this EP up, and dive right in; the water’s just lovely.

“Bug” was written and performed by Kirsten Heibert, produced and mixed by Julian Giaimo, mastered by Santa Cecilia Sound Mastering, features drums by Morgan Karabel and guitar by Kirsten Heibert, and was recorded at Outlier Inn and Julian Giamo’s Home Studio.

The current band members are Kirsten Heibert (vocals/guitar), Christian Hoffman (guitar), Chris Volpini (bass), and Spencer Rakoczy (drums).

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