(PIAS Recordings/Mayfly Records)
Belgian group Newmoon (no relation to the Twilight franchise, I hope) offer up a wonderfully beautiful listen with their full-length debut. Their shoegaze/dream pop mix adds in bits of post-rock, post-punk, and psych rock to create a soothing, engrossing sound throughout. The band are definitely best at their “fastest” and “heaviest” (it is a shoegaze record, after all), but “Helium” and “Head of Stone” showcase how effective and interesting their take is on a sound renown for how bored its players seem.
Newmoon do have some things they could work on. While their sound never wavers too far from its ethereal nature, slight variations would do them well; they nail the wall of sound style, but they could stand to offer up a tad bit more in terms of dynamics. There are moments, like in “Skin”, where it seems like the band is ready to break out (and they should have). Second, while vocalist Bert Cannaerts’ airy tenor fits the songs very well, there are moments where he sounds disinterested in his lines. That said, it allows his voice to often feel like its meant to play off of the other melodies more than take over these songs, and to that end, he succeeds quite well.
That said, those minor blips don’t detract from what is, otherwise, a really enjoyable listen. Newmoon are clearly a band worth keeping a skyward eye on in the future, as their effervescent sound is quite stunning when it’s at its peak. Here’s hoping they can craft an album up to their potential.