On the strength of their debut album 'Dark Eyes', Montreal four-piece Half Moon Run appear one of those ridiculously accomplished bands for whom making stirring, clever songs is a walk in the park.
It's the vocals that initially grab you: sometimes you hear echoes of Neil Young, sometimes José González, sometimes a yelping Jack White. Three-part harmonies sculpt a synergy that belies their origins as a band put together via Craigslist, members initially struggling to communicate with one another outside of the music.
On tracks like the moving 'No More Losing The War' and 'Unofferable' there's a reverential nod toward folk and blues, yet this is a varied album taking in everything from anguished soul-bearing ballads and Radio 2-friendly rock to a hypnotic artiness that recalls the jerky elasticity of Grizzly Bear at their most abstract.
If there's one fault with the peripatetic nature of the songs here it's simply that Half Moon Run don't seem to quite know who they want to be yet. 'Dark Eyes' suggests they have the potential to be massive, if they can just work that out.
The line “She wants to know just who I am,” from the standout 'She Wants To Know', is the question we can only hope future albums address head on.
Words: Mat Smith
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