Moondoggies: Tidelands (Hardly Art)

 |   |  <1 min read

Moondoggies: A Lot of People on My Mind
Moondoggies: Tidelands (Hardly Art)

Their name might not inspire much confidence -- the sort of band name 12-year olds think up -- but this rootsy, alt.country and indie-rock outfit from Seattle on a SubPop imprint label have a mainline connection to the same core of music (Neil Young, the Band) as informs the Felice Brothers, early Wilco and Richmond Fontaine.

They certainly know their way around a melody (the Everlys-meets-Jeff Tweedy on Emperor of the North) and singer Kevin Murphy (another of the beardy types populating this music) brings real presence to songs like the sad ballad Uncertain. And you can't fault not just the musicianship (organ, steel guitar and so on) nor how it works in the service of the songs.

They also bring an interesting dimension to the swirling Down the Well where the turbulent keyboards provide a slightly disconcerting mood and among the standouts is We Can't All Be Blessed towards the end which conjures up the melodic spirit of Fleet Foxes but keeps matters pleasingly underdressed and understated.

At some level -- as must be obvious -- Moondoggies do sound like a lot of other bands and perhaps that is the major shortcoming here. But they have also crafted an album which, as the title suggests, has an ebb and flow to it, and over repeat listenings it is one that takes you to its heart. And vice-versa.

Like this? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Warners)

Curtis Harding; Soul Power (Warners)

Back in early June we posted a review of this album under our ONE WE MISSED banner because it had appeared through the indie distributor Southbound the previous month. Well, seems everyone is... > Read more

Jenny Owen Youngs: Batten the Hatches (Shock)

Jenny Owen Youngs: Batten the Hatches (Shock)

This album has floated to the top of the pile quite frequently in the past three months and it has only been distractions which have meant it hasn't made an appearance here earlier. Let's... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Prince: Around the World in a Day (1985)

Prince: Around the World in a Day (1985)

Even before he was cremated a few days after his death, the world was abuzz with how much previously unreleased music Prince Rogers Nelson – aka Prince – had left behind. Those... > Read more

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Singer Wilson from North Carolina is yet another of those US blues (and jazz) artists who found a more sympathetic and profitable environment in Europe and these days operates out of Germany... > Read more