Poor Moon is a recently formed band featuring two ex-members of Fleet Foxes, Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, alongside the brotherly duo Ian and Peter Murray. Following up on their debut EP Illusion, the band has released their first full-length self-titled album. Poor Moon, like Fleet Foxes, seems to bend a lot of musical conventions, with the style of the music of the music being predominately pop influenced; it pulls from a lot of different genres to make an original piece. They create bold sonic landscapes with light guitar playing, synthesizers, heavy reverb, and various percussion elements. The album itself is rather short, only reaching a half hour in length, but it still does a marvelous job of creating a sense of underlying unity among its stop and go use of genres.
Clouds Below is the first song of the album and sets the stage with dreamy guitar melodies and silky smooth vocals. With a couple of aurally pleasing breaks in the song, you soon find yourself whistling along to its calming embrace. It’s pace and tone is perfect and is great for when you’re trying to just relax. Holiday is a particular song in which they bend certain conventions. The bass tones and beat suggest an image of hula dancers swaying their grass skirts on a far-away beach. It continues to add the hypnotic effects of the xylophone and an extremely light use of the guitar into this wonderful stew of indie Hawaiian magic, that is truly original, and a fun listen. Heaven’s Door is the sixth song of the album and another striking display of genre molding. The song starts funny with a couple silly guitar strumming patterns, but goes on to a much more linear song structure. The synth reminds me of the Doors’ late sixties feel with a carnival taste to it that leaves me feeling mischievous and naughty. The lyrics and space the music creates is very interesting and complement each other flawlessly.
Overall this album is not a breakthrough in innovation, but is still an enormously enjoyable listen, great for all kinds of down time. Being partially composed of members of Fleet Foxes, the overall feel doesn’t disappoint with its unifying ease on the ears. All this, combined with its genre juxtapositions, will leave you with a satisfying sense of originality and fascinating accessibility.