Lo Moon (photo by Phil Smithies, PR)
Over the past year and a half, Lo Moon has been slowly revealing itself. The trio's emergence has been tantalizingly calculated, one song at a time, unveiling music in a manner that's generated a desire to hear more. It’s been an intoxicating introduction mirroring the allure of the songs found on their finally released, self-titled debut album.
Based in Los Angeles, Lo Moon is bassist Crisanta Baker, Long Island native Matt Lowell on vocals and guitar, and guitarist Samuel Stewart (the son of Dave Stewart, formerly of Eurythmics, and Bananarama's Siobhan Fahey). All three musicians also play keyboards.
Lo Moon started with Lowell who, after relocating from New York to Los Angeles, met Baker. It was Lowell’s song “Loveless” that drew Baker in, and with that, Lo Moon was born. All that was needed was the arrival of Stewart. Once all three were together, the wheels were set in motion.
As it turned out, “Loveless” wasn’t just the song that was the impetus for the trio’s formation, it proved to be their breakthrough as well. A demo of the track convinced Columbia Records to sign the band and a finished version of the song was released as the band’s debut single in early fall 2016. As “Loveless” started beguiling listeners, the band took to the road and soon released a second single, “This Is It,” in the spring of 2017. Further touring, including appearances at high profile festivals (and at Holiday Cheer for FUV in 2017), continued their forward momentum.
A year after issuing “Loveless,” Lo Moon was chosen as one of NPR's Slingshot artists. A third single, “Thorns,” was issued in the fall, followed by a fourth, “Real Love,” in early 2018.
Those songs also appear on their full-length debut, Lo Moon, notably the bold and confident opening track, “This Is It,” and “Loveless,” the single that began everything for the trio. Even if listeners are familiar with “Loveless” from the single's initial appearance in 2016, experiencing it here, in the context of the album, gives this cinematic epic a new vibe. When Lowell sings, “Would you take a chance on us?,” the band seems to reintroduce itself in a new, revealing light.
Despite being paced by upbeat rhythms, both “The Right Thing” and “Real Love” have a melancholy air; it's a mood that dwells throughout the album. The gorgeous “Thorns" is an enchanting song with heartfelt lyrics that float on an electronic sea, complimented with flugelhorn and an ethereal guitar. In the band's website bio, Lowell says that “Thorns” is “all about the spirit of the band finding its voice.”
Swirling washes of synths create a dreamscape within the song “Camouflage.” That song's gauzy haze dissipates quickly, overtaken by the danceable pulse of “Wonderful Life.” Who said you couldn’t dance to introspection?
Former Death Cab For Cutie member Chris Walla produced Lo Moon with Australian composer Francois Tetaz. Adam Granduciel and Charlie Hall, both of the War On Drugs, and P.J. Moore, formerly of the Blue Nile, also lent a hand to help to make Lo Moon's debut so magical.
Lo Moon's collective talents make their self-titled debut album a timeless experience—and well worth the long wait.