Album Review: Poor Moon - Poor Moon

16 August 2012 | 1:51 pm | Mat Lee

Poor Moon’s two-parts are fantastically simple and beautiful.

The obvious risk when forming a spin-off band is the duplication of a similar sound. For Fleet Foxes members Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, the transition to their side-project Poor Moon has displayed a sound that is so distinct that each song creates its own atmosphere that you don't want to end. With the addition of brothers Ian and Peter Murray, the band's self-titled LP takes you back to the '60s with a range of baroque pop and folk tunes perfect for a Californian road trip.

Kicking off with the beautiful ditty Clouds Above, whistles develop into bird-like harmony over basic guitar plucking. Same Way provides a deceptively Fleet Foxes sounding track before adding what sounds like a xylophone to mix things up; similarly, Waiting For initially resides somewhere in the Western folk genre, ripping into a drum-led chorus that Sgt. Pepper could lay claim to.

We hear the unfamiliar sounds of subtle electro in Heaven's Door, matched with thoughtful and well constructed lyrics “I never paid for the sins that I loved too much/I would be damned if I gave it up to walk through Heaven's Door”. And just to keep listeners happily scratching their heads, Bucky Pony sounds almost Eastern with a deeper drum beat and what sounds like a sitar. The contrasting genres are pieced together in a pastiche fashion, but together form a final product demonstrating admirable musicality and, at times, a homage to the baroque pop genre that made some '60s acts famous, particularly Holiday which really resonates.

A main pro that makes this act so attractive is their vocal clarity. Fleet Foxes can be inaudible at times due to their multitude-part harmonies. However, Poor Moon's two-parts are fantastically simple and beautiful. Dare I say it; one criticism is some songs could be longer, listeners may find themselves wanting more Poor Moon.

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