HALF MOON RUN – Dark Eyes (Indica)

In the same article that pointed me in the direction of Public Service Broadcasting, Ben Lovett of The Mumfords championed Montreal’s Half Moon Run as a band to watch out for. Intrigued by a description of ‘progressive without being pretentious’, I gave them a try, and have discovered the best new Canadian band since The Besnard Lakes. They are a multi-instrumental trio, with each member playing a number of instruments, and in doing so can produce a sound which is much fuller than you would expect. ‘Full Circle’ has a deceptively simple melody which is enhanced when the harmony vocals make an appearance on the chorus. It is both commercial enough to be instantly memorable, but also intricate enough so that repeated plays do not induce boredom. Tricky to pull off, but this is only track one. ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’ comes over as a rockier Fleet Foxes, with an underlying folkiness on an upbeat rocker. ‘No More Losing The War’ pulls things right back, being a moody ballad drenched in atmospheric backwards guitar, and suitably creepy it is too. ‘She Wants To Know’ is another highlight, with a syncopated rhythm to the verses, another instantly catchy chorus, and some nice, spiky guitarwork. ‘Need It’ is a lovely ballad, highlighting how well the guys’ vocals blend together, while ‘Give Up’ sound incredibly like Radiohead, both in the vocals and the guitar line, but even given that it is still a great song. ‘Judgement’ is a cool indie rocker, and ‘Drug You’ carries on this vibe, with the addition of those great harmony vocals scattered throughout the song. ‘Nerve’ slows the pace right down for another lovely ballad, which once again has a deceptively simplistic tune which make you feel as if you have known the song for ages. Album closer ‘21 Gun Salute’ has some dubstep-y rhythms and those ubiquitous harmonies, and comes across a something of a chill-out track, with its bleepy electronics and laid-back vibe. So, thanks Ben for bringing Half Moon Run to my attention, as otherwise I would probably have missed out on this truly superb album. Now that I have passed on the recommendation, make sure that you check them out as well, as if you love classy indie music (and who doesn’t) then you do really need to hear this album.

Full Circle