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

Paul Weller: Saturns Pattern (Parlophone)

Paul Weller: Saturns Pattern (Parlophone)

You certainly have to give Paul Weller  a tip of the hat for his capacity at reinvention (the Jam, the Style Council, a lengthy and diverse solo career) and the energy he has put into it.... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: Ali and Toumani (World Circuit)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate: Ali and Toumani (World Circuit)

When the great guitarist Ali Farka Toure from Mali died in late 2005 he left an exceptional legacy of wonderful albums, not the least being the exceptional In the Heart of the Moon with kora player... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ZOOGZ RIFT: Speaking more than Frankly

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ZOOGZ RIFT: Speaking more than Frankly

Because his music and career was so diverse, heretical and dispirate, few would try to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa. He seems to have spawned no progeny. With one notable exception:... > Read more

PICO IYER INTERVIEWED (2007): And knowing you, Leonard Cohen

PICO IYER INTERVIEWED (2007): And knowing you, Leonard Cohen

When the writer Pico Iyer came to New Zealand for a Writers and Readers Festival in 2007, it was my pleasure to host a panel on which he was on where the subject was travel writing. As one... > Read more