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Music

Preview: Half Moon Run at O Patro Vys

Posted by Christine / April 6, 2011

20110406-hmr.jpg Rising locals Half Moon Run will be performing with Final Flash and Abbe May this Saturday, April 9th at O Patro Vys (356 Mont-Royal E).

Half Moon Run formed during autumn 2009, through a combination of mutual friends and Craigslist.

"The current incarnation of Half Moon Run was born tied to the walls of a sweaty room in Montreal's Mile-End district," states the band's MySpace page. "It was there, through the hardships of time constraints and flatlined bank accounts, the trio bonded, and now manages to fuse together the restless elements of indie with the honest part of warm electronica, as they hover tightly against rhythmic harmonies and delicate guitar lines."

"The two most important things to us are musical growth and keeping things interesting, which for us often means exploring new sounds and ideas," said drummer, synth-player and back-up vocalist Dylan Phillips. "The most rewarding part of this is when the three of us can sync our creativity and really come up with something meaningful and unique. We all come from very different backgrounds, both musically and personally, which kind of lends itself to chaotic but productive jam sessions."

With large acts such as Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene clustering the stages they perform on, Half Moon Run bears a stark contrast. However, don't be fooled by their modest three-person structure, as they expertly manage to fuse indie rock, electronic and folk influences in a deceptively layered manner. The overall product of which is a paced, but full sound. This accomplishment of great measure is no small effort.

"(Guitarist, synth-player and back-up vocalist) Conner Molander and I have been increasingly adding bass to our songs, which we cover using synths. It's been and continues to be a never-ending challenge that we have to approach song by song, because of the fact that we have to also play drums, guitars and backup vocals," said Dylan. "All this struggle to widen the scope of our sound is just a small part making music, and as long as we keep moving forward with our feet on the ground and keep writing good songs, we're doing well."

Though Half Moon Run does not have any official albums or EPs out, one may listen to a few demo songs on their MySpace and facebook pages.

"We just got signed to Indica Records in December. They're great because they're all artists too, and they know what it takes to make things happen," said Dylan. "We have plans to start recording our first album this summer, and there's talk of an Asia-Pacific tour, but we're mostly just focused on making a damn good first album. At this point it's hard to think of anything beyond that."

Overall, there's a refreshing sense of effortless accessibility to Half Moon Run's music. The lyrics are mostly discernible, and furthermore, frequently weave chronological narratives. A manner of storytelling I found personally compelling, as the lyrics bore many themes redolent of film noir, a genre near and dear to my heart.

Their song "21 Gun Salute" in particular, exemplifies the feelings of disenchantment and alienation against an urban backdrop that gathers in film noir cynical detectives, down-and-out writers and fall guys.

Lead vocalist, guitarist and percussionist Devon Portielje's, frankly, beautiful singing carries along the lyrics with a measured cadence that speaks to his technical talent, which compliments the vulnerability found within his vocal stretching and soaring.

"Look at the sun on the cityscape/ I caught the subway home with a bellyache/ You look in the face of my friends/ I try to talk with a clouded head /I keep fucking it up and it's tough/ Maybe it's just that I'm out of luck/ It all goes downhill, after the rains, after the floods."

Here's an admitted slight digression I could not resist; a favorite quote of mine about the film noir protagonist.

"He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he's a hero the whole time," uttered by the great Frank Miller, graphic novelist famed for his Sin City series.

Saturday's show begins at 8:30 p.m. and has a $10 cover at the door.

Official Half Moon Run image shot by Matthew Joycey. From left to right: Devon Portielje, Dylan Phillips and Conner Molander

Discussion

7 Comments

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