Half Moon Run “Inwards & Onwards”

Glassnote Records, 2021

Half Moon Run look to the future on latest EP.

Artwork for Half Moon Run EP "Inwards & Onwards"I have seen the future and it works” remarked Lincoln Steffens on his return to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1919. This phrase comes to mind on hearing Half Moon Run’s latest EP, which manages to capture a sound that’s always been there while simultaneously offering a suggestion of the future of indie rock.

Inwards & Onwards’ comes nine years after their debut album, ‘Dark Eyes’, released in 2012. Appropriately enough, the band have pretty much come ‘Full Circle’ in that time. Having started out as a three-piece comprising British Columbia natives Conner Molander and Dylan Phillips along with Ottawa ex-pat Devon Portielj, the band acquired a fourth member, Isaac Symonds, shortly thereafter. In 2020, Symonds amicably left the band, returning them to their original trio status. And the chemistry that sparked the bands’ inception remains evident here.

The EP opens with the acoustic guitar driven ‘How Come My Body’, set to an off-kilter beat and offering plenty of the three-part harmonies for which the band has become renowned. The fingerpicked ‘On & On’ continues in a similar vein, before giving way to the tongue in cheek, ‘Fxgiving’, which appears to admonish the band’s critics. ‘It’s True’ hints at Radiohead and Mercury Rev’s ‘Deserter’s Songs’, while the harmonica in the deeply mournful ‘Nosebleeds’ sounds as though it would be at home on ‘Harvest Moon’. The EP closes with the comparatively more upbeat ‘Tiny’, evoking CSN&Y and Band of Horses in its combination of electric guitars and layered vocal harmonies.

While Steffens’ prediction of over 100 years might not quite have been borne out by events, we have no hesitation in concluding that ‘Inwards & Onwards’ not only works, but also hints at a productive future.


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