Last week, Lo Moon
performed live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic
radio show. With only two songs currently available online, Lo Moon have managed to unintentionally create a certain mysteriousness around their music. Lead singer Matt Lowell promises on-air that new music will be coming soon, but many are impatient to hear more from this promising band that's already played shows with indie stars like MUNA
, Glass Animals
, and London Grammar
. Not only have they shown promise in the music world, but they've also shown enormous potential on Yelp, leaving clever reviews at spots along their way on tour. Here's a choice excerpt from a review of Yogurtland posted under "Lo Moon":
"Whilst stopped we figured it was a smart move to visit the bathroom as we still had a long haul ahead of us. What I did not anticipate however, would be the subtle beckon of Yogurtland's pristine chrome corridor... it just seemed to whisper sweet and squishy nothings as I walked by... 'Come boy, come hither and ascend to yogurt heaven.'
Resistance was futile."
After a brief soundcheck and some coffee at KCRW, the band performs, and the recording booth falls silent. They start with their most recent release, "This Is It", followed by "Thorns", a beautiful, lilting, unreleased track. Chords bleed into one another, structured by clean guitar riffs from Sam Stewart. "No one can love you, I'll always want you to stay," Matt sings, admitting after the performance that this is the first time they've played the song live. They follow it with "Real Love", another explosive unreleased track, before performing their debut single "Loveless" and a cover of Prefab Sprout's "Bonny".
Lo Moon is powerful, and their music rewards patience with a satisfying and dark intensity. Hopefully, the wait for Lo Moon's music will reward listeners the same way - Matt says he waited years for the right moment to release "Loveless", and anyone who's listened to the full seven minute track will tell you it's been worth the wait. Akin to the slow build of the song itself, Lo Moon seems to have an acute sense for when to strike with new music.
The band drops off their equipment, packed in cases airbrushed with "Lo Moon" in lilac lettering, at Matt's house where they have a small studio space. Matt explains that they jam and write in this space, a small separate room detached from the house. It's full of instruments, with film photos tacked on the walls. Matt is a photographer too, and he recommends me to check out a photo shop called Freestyle (I took his advice - the film for this piece was developed there).
After the studio, our first stop on the Lo Moon tour of LA is Jackknife Records and Tapes, a narrow store lined with vintage tapes, records, speakers, and boomboxes. Next is their favorite guitar shop, Old Guitar Style, where we linger as Chrisanta's hands glide effortlessly over an old piano and Matt and Sam try various guitars from around the shop. Chrisanta, on bass and keys in Lo Moon, was trained as a classical pianist before attending art school for visual art. Earlier today, she presented the host of Morning Becomes Eclectic
with a hand-drawn portrait as a thank you. An electric guitar with an amp built into the case is one of the oddities they try at Old Guitar Style, plus a powerful but wide-necked bass for Chrisanta. They're regulars here, and the shop owner welcomes them happily as they share a quick catch-up.
From one perspective the band seems to be laying low, taking their time between each release with a calm and steady pace, but they're working hard just below the surface. This is Thursday, and Friday means a rehearsal for a music video being filmed Sunday. Saturday isn't a day off either - the band is playing KCRW's Sound in Focus event, a free outdoor concert series featuring some amazing acts, alongside Mondo Cozmo and Paul Oakenfeld.
At Sound in Focus, Lo Moon plays a tight and technically flawless set as the crowd sprawls on the grass in the late afternoon. The three of them, plus their drummer Sterling, are already experienced with playing live. This comfort with the technicalities of performance allows them to focus their energy into emotion on stage and it escalates their live performance to a level far beyond most bands who have yet to release a debut album. When they leave the stage, they fist bump some of the members of Mondo Cozmo, who are up next, and pack up their equipment back into the black cases with the purple "Lo Moon" labels.
After long stretches on the road, "being home feels like Groundhog Day," Chrisanta explains. Waking up in the same place day after day becomes out of the ordinary. In a few days, they'll make the drive to New York for a show and follow that with a performance with Glass Animals in New Haven. With a packed schedule like that, time will fly by for Lo Moon. Meanwhile, the rest of us are stuck waiting for news of a debut album, and time couldn't feel slower. Still, if Lo Moon has established anything so far, it's that they're worth the wait.