Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

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(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2767: Lo Moon

 
By on Friday, 12th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Elusive alt-rock trio Lo Moon are crawling slowly out of their self-created shell, cleverly prolonging the anxious anticipation of their forthcoming debut LP release. The band’s latest teaser for the album is a new promo video for ‘Real Love’, designed by visual artist Lizzie Nanut. Nanut’s visual representation of ‘Real Love’ is in perfect synchrony with the song itself, contrasting a sharply graphic base layer with subtle changes in tone and colour. Sonically, vocalist Matt Lowell’s cool, distant verse melodies are underlaid by a deeply resonating bass groove. Slick guitar and keyboard lines add dynamic and dramatic overtones to the song’s chorus: “when it’s real, real love, you try to fix it but it’s never enough.”

Lo Moon will be releasing their self-titled debut album on the 23rd of February on Columbia Records. The Los Angeles based trio is scheduled to appear in Austin this March at SXSW 2018. You can read TGTF’s previous coverage of Lo Moon, including a live review from SXSW 2017, by clicking here.

 

Single Review: Lo Moon – Thorns

 
By on Thursday, 19th October 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Marcus Haney

Up-and-coming Los Angeles alt-rock trio Lo Moon are set to begin their UK tour supporting London Grammar this week. To mark the occasion, they have unveiled another stunning new single titled ‘Thorns’. ‘Thorns’ follows hot on the heels of Lo Moon’s recent promo video for ‘This is It’, which we featured as a Video of the Moment #2449 last week.

Despite its rather prickly title, ‘Thorns’ displays a softer, more subdued facet of Lo Moon’s typically edgy and angular sound. It’s noticeably less reliant on sharp dynamic contrast than ‘This is It’, aiming instead to capture a mood of calm introspection and stillness. Its lyrics are strikingly minimal, comprising only two brief verses and a simple, softly whispered refrain: “no one can love you, no one can love you the same / I’ll always want you, I’ll always want you this way / we’ll learn to outgrow the thorns on the rose”. Yet Lo Moon’s expansive musical arrangement of ‘Thorns’ is no less emotionally dramatic, evolving slowly and deliberately over the song’s 5-minute length. Ambient and gentle at the start, with subtle keyboard and percussion effects, the track picks up some rhythmic momentum and intensity with added layers behind the repeated chorus, and the jazz-tinged brass arrangement in the instrumental interlude is delightfully smooth and sweet.

The band themselves describe ‘Thorns’ as having “had a life of its own from day one.” They have written more extensively about the recording process for ‘Thorns’ in the Our Road section of their official Web site, which you can read by clicking here. We’ve had no word yet on Lo Moon’s impending debut LP release, but ‘Thorns’ is out now on Columbia Records, along with ‘This Is It’ and early single ‘Loveless’. You can find TGTF’s past coverage of Lo Moon, including a live review from SXSW 2017, collected back here.

 

Video of the Moment #2449: Lo Moon

 
By on Wednesday, 11th October 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Marcus Haney

Los Angeles atmospheric alt-rock trio Lo Moon have just released a new video for their recent single ‘This Is It’. The track follows up the band’s previous sleeper hit single ‘Loveless’, which we had the pleasure of hearing them play live earlier this year on the Pandora showcase at SXSW 2017.

Directed by Kevin Slack, the close-up cinematography in the video for ‘This is It’ is well-suited to singer Matt Lowell’s intimate whisper in the song’s verses, while the black-and-white color scheme fits with the sharply contrasting dynamic of the shimmering keyboards and angular guitar riffs in the chorus. Slack’s rotating internal viewpoint features bright, backlit views of Lowell at the piano, along with artfully dexterous action shots of band members Crisanta Baker (bass/keys), Sam Stewart (guitar) and touring drummer Sterling Laws.

‘This is It’ is only Lo Moon’s second official single release, but they are said to be wrapping up work on their debut LP with producers Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye). The L.A. trio will continue making waves this fall on tour with Phoenix in North America and with London Grammar in the UK and Continental Europe. You can find a full listing of Lo Moon’s upcoming live dates on their official Facebook. ‘Loveless’ and ‘This is It’ are both out now on Columbia Records.

 

SXSW 2017: Monday night variety, including Americana at the Swan Dive, pop at The Gatsby and rock at the British Music Embassy – 13th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 3rd April 2017 at 5:00 pm
 

After our arrival in Austin on Monday afternoon, Mary and I officially began our music festival adventures at SXSW 2017 on Monday night at the Swan Dive, which played host to a showcase of alt-country and Americana artists. We only stayed long enough to see one band, but it turned out to be a fortuitous choice, as the first act on the evening’s bill was outstanding Finnish duo Tuomo & Markus. (Mary also wrote about them in this previous SXSW 2017 review post.

Tuomo and Markus internal

Tuomo Prättälä and Markus Nordenstreng are each career musicians in their own right, but they came together recently at Wavelab Studio in my own adopted home of Tucson, AZ to record an album of contemporary Americana, with contributions from well-known friends, including members of Wilco, Calexico and The Jayhawks. Though the album, titled ‘Dead Circles’, has yet to be released outside of Scandinavia (its North American and European release is due later this year), I found out later in the week that Rolling Stone contributor David Fricke had already named it to his list of ‘New Albums from the Best of SXSW 2017’.

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Following Tuomo & Markus’ set, Mary and I set out in separate directions (you can read her Monday evening review here). I headed to The Gatsby, which was playing host to the heavily-hyped and well-attended Pandora showcase. After a brief wait in the queue, I got inside just in time to see another duo act, FRENSHIP, whom I’d already encountered in my preview of Los Angeles bands at SXSW 2017. James Sunderland and Brett Hite’s high energy blend of organic songwriting with electronic dance music is immediately captivating, and their anthemic tracks ‘1000 Nights’ and ‘Capsize’ fit perfectly on the large, brightly-lit stage at The Gatsby. You can hear more about FRENSHIP’s Monday night set in my post-performance interview with them right back here.

"chk

The next act on the Pandora stage was Brooklyn-based dance pop band !!! (aka chk chk chk, if you want to say it out loud). They made an entrance worthy of all three exclamation points, and proceeded to shimmy and shake through a set that was equal parts glitz and Jazzercise. Their new album ‘Shake the Shudder’ is due out on the 19th of May, and if you love to dance, you’ll want to catch them on tour this summer: they already have dates scheduled in the UK and at home here in America.

Lo Moon internal

I’m not sure how I missed L.A. rock band Lo Moon in my aforementioned preview, but I was pleasantly surprised by their intense and atmospheric set on the Pandora stage. The video for their latest single ‘Loveless’ came out just after SXSW, and the drawn out anticipation of its slowly unfolding drama is a fair representation of their music, though they do make a much more powerful impact in live performance.

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Before the first night of SXSW could officially close, I naturally had to pay a visit to the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. The last two bands on the DIY + TicketWeb showcase that evening were Manchester-based False Advertising and Exeter trio Muncie Girls. Both bands fall into the rock category, but False Advertisting were more on the fuzzy, grunge end of the continuum, while Muncie Girls have a brighter, cleaner sound. False Advertising do an interesting lead vocal/drums switch between Jen Hingley and Chris Warr, but as I was never able to see Warr’s face beyond his hair when he was singing, I think I’d have to say that I prefer Hingley in the forefront. Fellow frontwoman Lande Hekt of Muncie Girls had a more immediately engaging stage presence, though her pleasant smile was rather ironic, given the subversive lyrics behind her band’s catchy punk sound.

Muncie Girls internal

Monday night at SXSW 2017 was a grab-bag of different bands and different sounds, but it was only the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned to TGTF for my further accounts from the week in Austin, and if you haven’t been able to keep up with Mary’s fast-paced coverage of events, you can find everything collected right back here.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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