Keith Goldhanger (Words) and Paul Grace (Photos) team up to report on a Monday night show headlined by Lo Moon at London’s Lafayette.
Does the world need another Coldplay?
For some of us, yes, and for some of you, yes. That’s the first comparison over and done with (and the only one you’ll need for the moment).
Vocalist Matt Lowell spent five years tweaking debut release Loveless then, according to folklore, basically sat back as the cogs in the wheels of the music industry did their thing as the band evolved to provide us with the Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) produced self-titled debut album that raised eyebrows and proved to those patient enough to wait that something grand was being born. No doubt the band will insist there was more to it than that but some of us are busy catching up at the moment.
Based in Los Angeles, the band visited the UK as support for London Grammar and more recently War on Drugs in front of audiences that went home more than content with what they had just witnessed. Other shows around the world with bands such as Ride, Temper Trap and Chvrches have won them many fans that were all set to fall in love with second album, A Modern Life, which came out in February this year. This is a cracker of an album to be listened to the morning after any night before. Soft, dreamy songs that those accustomed to huge gigs in huge spaces will soon find themselves looking to find a gap on the shelf next to forty-year-old Supertramp albums, recent albums by the bands they’ve recently been appearing with or Coldplay’s twenty-year-old Parachutes album.
Opener tonight, Carried Away, sets the tone for the evening. Electronic intro follows the next electronic intro as bass player Crisanta Baker, drummer, Sterling Laws and guitarist Sam Stewart incorporate their respective huge pile of gadgets connected to keyboards we can hardly see that they seem to have alongside them whilst the front man drives the songs with his beautiful angelic voice that cuts through everything perfectly. Considering how busy it all looks up there in front of us tonight and how dreamy everything is nothing seems to get lost within the layers of reverberated sound the band are triggering. The line up is basically two guitars’ bass and drums but the additional equipment in use is what gives the band their identity that allows the listeners mind to float away into dreamland.
This was as incredible as many of us hoped it would be. The Lafayette, a 600-capacity venue is about as intimate we’ll find this band in currently and tonight’s show is the first show Lo Moon have headlined since the release of their wonderful second album that we get to hear most if not all of tonight.
The cracking Loveless that started the whole thing off gets left until last, in between we get more highlights including the magnificent Dream Never Dies, the piano-led Digging up the Dead and This Is It is as gorgeous here as it is at home through the speakers.
Lo Moon, in particular Matt Lowell seems to have managed to get a lot of what’s needed right so far. Guitarist Sam Stewart (whose parents were in better bands than our parents ever were) is a fabulously talented individual looking as though he’s the busiest person on stage however his input never seems to overpower the complete picture.
We now have two fabulous albums that those of us who like to have something in life that can calm us down a bit have added to those already at arm’s reach for when the going gets tough. They’re refreshing, restrained, easy on the ear, as laid back as The XX or The Cocteau Twins and Matt has a voice that reminds us of Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis.
That’s enough comparisons for one day.
Lo Moon are a band to put your feet up to and a band many of us imagine we’ll get the chance to see again one day in larger surroundings.
Ideally in the mid-day sun.
Words by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV). Photos by Paul Grace. Paul is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his websites are www.paulgrace-eventphotos.co.uk & www.pgrace.co.uk