Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Paltz, NY band What Moon Things shares first track off 6/3 debut LP at Ad Hoc; Northeast shows this month.

New Paltz, NY band What Moon Things will release debut LP on Hot Grits Records June 6

Listen to "The Astronaut" at Ad Hoc
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"The tune’s biggest immediate strength is its ocean-sized snare, nudging forward a sulking, heavy bassline that arrives half a step behind every hit. Guitarist Jake Harms’ hearbroken vocals combined with the confident instrumental swagger give the song a certain buoyancy."
Ad Hoc

"...the trio cultivated their massive, gleaming sound while they were busy being college students. And if their first single 'The Astronaut' is any indication, What Moon Things is certainly a band beyond its years. The song opens with new wave guitar, distorted bass, and a wonderfully hi-fi take on the huge 80s drum sound. a glint of light in a pitch-black cave, a ray of beauty in melancholy ... That sound is reflected in the crystal clear production of record, even though the album was recorded in Morisi’s New Paltz apartment."

Conceived in a dark, moldy basement during the summer of 2012, New Paltz, NY-based What Moon Things blends distorted guitar hooks, somber synthesizers, and the rubbed-raw vocals of Jake Harms and John Morisi to jolt listeners wide awake with stinging dreamo (shoegazey, dreamy, and a little bit emo…) sound. Drawing inspiration from a range of influences including the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Modest Mouse, and the Cure, the band, comprised of Harms (guitars, lead vocals), Morisi (drums, lead vocals), and Chris Kehoe (bass, synths, backup vocals), began recording together in the early summer of 2013, and within a few frenetic months had completed their eponymous debut LP.
Though recorded in Morisi’s sparse and tiny New Paltz apartment (nicknamed “The Dump”), WMT’s full-length album was mixed by Scott Nicholas and mastered by Jesse Magnum in Athens, GA, a town whose legendary music scene has produced such acts as R.E.M., the B-52s, and Neutral Milk Hotel. All but one of the record’s eight songs were co-written by Harms and Morisi, who form the band’s creative core (“Moon Things”, a roiling noise collage, was contributed by Nicholas). Their songs exist as the two bandmates’ reciprocal transmissions on disappointment, monsters, and the human vulnerability revealed through death and heartbreak. Harms and Morisi share lead vocal duty on the record. Their fevered tenors undergird the wide-hipped, reverby vessel of the album, serving as anchors for Harms’ messy, brilliant guitar work and Morisi’s syncopated drum motifs.
4/10 -- The Batcave, Montclaire, NY
4/11 -- Suburbia, Brooklyn, NY
4/12 -- Upstate Artists Guild, Albany, NY
4/15 -- Great Scott, Boston, MA w/ New Madrid
4/18 -- 158 Salon, New Paltz, NY
4/19 -- Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn, NY w/ New Madrid
4/25 -- Root Cellar, Bard College, Red Hook, NY
5/6 -- Oasis Cafe, New Paltz, NY
The real bursts of brilliance on the album—”Astronaut,” “Squirrel Girl,” “Staring at the Radio,” and “Doesn’t Make Much Sense”—send the listener on an undulating journey through waves of fuzzed-out plasma, floating among fractured tempos and searing vocals. These tracks are awash with Harms’ and Morisi’s shared pathos on the subject of growing up. “I’m nostalgia, I’m an astronaut,” declares Harms on “Astronaut.” “I’m still a punk kid, starting fights / with my neighbors.” What Moon Things succeeds not only in creating a mood, but in pulling anyone who happens to be within range into the same warm, dark space it occupies. It is music that seeps in slowly and dawns on the mind of the listener like a dream; a record that belies its small-town provenance and creates a sound much larger that its origins.
What Moon Things is managed by Left Brain Artist Management (founded by Deerhunter and Drive-by Truckers producer David Barbe, also member of Sugar) in Athens, GA. What Moon Things is set for a June 3rd issue on 12” vinyl and CD as the inaugural release on the Athens label Hot Grits Records.

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