By Alanna Madden
The Moon Bros’ newest album These Stars is an eight track compilation of smooth, smoky, folk ballads featuring long winded guitar solos and soft spoken, poetic vocal leads by front man Matt Schneider. This album follows their previous albums Frijolillo and Dance Hall Sounds, and makes its mark as a more mature sounding record that has to potential to raise themselves up into an adult contemporary standard amongst the folk music scene they already exist in.
Reminiscent of a mixture between Jefferson Airplane and Hank Williams, each track is moves into each other with ease without actually being too redundant for a new listener to enjoy. Like Jefferson Airplane, the band experiments with Spanish styled guitar mixed with the twang and slow, messaging rhythm of album. The mix allows the listener to transition and appreciate the intermittent lyrical ballads are that are telling a perspective of wisdom, perspective, and murmured heartbreak. It’s almost at though the signer was reaching to a person in a coy, personal way; one is left to wonder who or what the album was made for outside of the artist’s personal means for production.
The more popular track, “These Stars”, introduces a listener to an environment of warm, summery, lullabic lyrics motioning to an experience of fleeting, recurrent, self awareness that would take a listener anywhere they have ever felt both apprehensive and comfortable at once. The entire album could very well be a soundtrack to one’s experience of resolving a late summer’s day, while also accompanying a listener to whichever morning they chose to relax and enjoy a moment of pure solitude and relaxation. If there was a picturesque way to describe the ballad, the album cover itself is very telling. One could imagine a deserted midcountry back road with telephone poles with bouts of crows loitering about to observe an occasional automobile.
The only questions I am left with as a listener is if the group will decide to expand their musical style from a specific style of that seemingly creates a boundary of what their capabilities actually exist in. Despite how impressed I am with their musical talents, I am left wishing there was more variety in instrumental techniques and vocal harmony. If this sounds contradictory, there is intention in stating both views. Despite how endearing this album may be, I am left believing that the follow up will be even better.