Your first release must make a statement. This is the collective consensus of would-be music industry types and aspiring musicians looking to wade into the proverbial firing squad of a contemporary online music audience with a wide range of choice at their fingertips, and little time in which to be won over.
There is making a statement and then there is LA based Lo Moon and their first single Loveless. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, and treading a genre line somewhere between trip-hop percussion and sprawling, experimental rock not too dissimilar to eighties new wave act Talk Talk, the band set down a bold early indicator that radio friendly indie fodder is not their bag.
Despite Loveless comprising their only release to date, the Lo Moon trio of Matt Lowell, Crisanta Baker, and Sam Stewart have taken a lengthy four-year journey of honing their craft and waiting for the right moment to announce themselves on the circuit. Their growing popularity even at this early stage seems to indicate their hibernation was well served, with Temper Trap and even Sir Elton John joining a growing list of admirers which had led to a recent first headline show at Sebright Arms, London, followed by a string of European dates supporting MUNA and The Lemon Twigs for the now Columbia Records signed group.
Despite the track sharing its name with the iconic, shoegaze-enthused My Bloody Valentine album, there is a layering of irony in the sense that the sound on Loveless appears to be the antithesis of the fuzz-drenched guitar and hazy vocals which characterised the aforementioned genre.
A delicate piano-led intro is accompanied by rattling percussion and an atmospheric lead guitar interlude before making way for Lowell’s hypnotic, Thom Yorke aping falsetto vocal expression, depicting a decidedly melancholy tale of romantic purgatory and the no-man’s-land of attempting to move on despite emotional anchoring in a past relationship.
‘Could you take a chance on us?' repeats Lowell, as the song enters a faux chorus as the otherwise mutually exclusive emotions in the solemn subject matter are juxtaposed with the soaring buoyancy of the instrumental, which ultimately converge to beautifully uplifting effect, repeated after an atmospheric bridge section as Lowell poignantly cries, ‘Understand, no relief in silhouettes’.
This stunningly expansive landscape of myriad emotions and instrumental thrills is more than enough to convince the listener of keeping tabs on Lo Moon, aided by the accompanying music video directed by Warren Fu (The Strokes, Daft Punk) which brings this thematically polarising song to life in wonderfully edited dark and light splices of both beach bound bliss and bloody crime.
Words by Jamie Boyd
Photograph by Cara Robbins