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Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On (October 23, 2015)

Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On (October 23, 2015)                      Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On (October 23, 2015)                                 ς•ς     Atmospheric indie folk~rock from Montreal, in the vein of Fleet Foxes and Alt~J.
Formed: 2010 in Montréal, Québec, Canada
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Album release: October 23, 2015
Record Label: Indica/Universal in Canada and Glassnote/Universal
Duration:     47:48
01. Warmest Regards     3:15
02. I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On     3:16 
03. Consider Yourself     3:53 
04. Hands in the Garden     3:52 
05. Turn Your Love     4:02
06. Narrow Margins     4:11 
07. Sun Leads Me On     4:06 
08. It Works Itself Out     4:04 
09. Everybody Wants     5:01 
10. Throes     0:54 
11. Devil May Care     2:22
12. The Debt     4:01 
13. Trust     4:51 
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger;  Score: ****
♠≡  The sophomore studio long player from the Montréal–based quartet, Sun Leads Me On finds Half Moon Run dialing back on the sweeping Fleet Foxes~inspired indie folk elements of their debut in favor of a more cosmopolitan approach. Writing was split between the band’s hometown and a surfing sabbatical in southern California, and the 13–track set reflects that geographical disparity by offering up a bubbling crock pot spilling over with a frothy mix of West Coast electro~chamber pop and bucolic heartland rock. Aptly named opener “Warmest Regards” starts things off by coating everything in a tube~driven, sun–bleached ‘70s singer/songwriter patina that falls somewhere between Harry Nilsson, Stornoway, and the Zombies, while the highway~ready “I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On” invokes the Eagles by way of Midlake. That all changes with the third track, the propulsive, synth~propelled “Consider Yourself,” a terse and propulsive blast of Krautrock and Foals~esque new wave that informs later cuts like the R&B~kissed “Turn Your Love,” the brooding “It Works Itself Out,” and the club~ready closer “Trust.” Between those sonic deviations, the band mostly sticks to something in between, with the lush “Everybody Wants” and the equally sumptuous title cut bearing the most delectable fruit. There are some torpor~inducing moments near the album’s end that threaten to bring the whole thing to a standstill, but they’re mostly aberrations in an otherwise well~oiled machine. As a whole, Sun Leads Me On is a far more confident~sounding animal than 2012’s Dark Eyes, with the band coming off less like a hastily assembled, albeit talented, group of strangers, and more like a road~tested, yet well~rested army of four.
By Sarah Murphy, Published Aug 07, 2015
≡♠   Montreal four~piece Half Moon Run stormed onto the Canadian indie scene back in 2012 with their debut full~length Dark Eyes. Now, they’re ready to follow it up with Sun Leads Me On, which will arrive on October 23 via Indica/Universal in Canada and Glassnote/Universal in the rest of the world.
≡♠   The new material was written between their hometown of Montreal and a surfing getaway to California, though recording took place at Ontario’s Bathouse Studios with acclaimed UK producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele). And while the new set of songs “largely eschews the alt~folk melancholia” of Dark Eyes, it does hear the band conveying concepts of beauty and honesty through unique instrumentation, classical arrangements and dark lyrics propelled by pulsating synths.
≡♠   Sun Leads Me On was written after two years of exhausting touring and adapting to life in the band. “We had this beautiful thing, this wonderful chance, but we were also working our way through a lot of darkness, losing lots of friends, struggles at home, losing our sense of home, trying to let the music guide us but having trouble even finding that,” said multi~instrumentalist Dylan Phillips in a press release. “There was a lot of strife in it all, but at the same time the sun just kept pulling us forward, and we just kept pushing forward and trying to find beauty in what we do.”
≡♠   In addition to announcing the new record, the band have shared a sampling of the new sound in the form of lead track “Trust,” and Exclaim! has got the exclusive Canadian premiere of the new track.
≡♠   “‘Trust’ is somewhat of a strange song,” said Phillips. “It’s a departure from what you might normally expect from us. It's the last song we wrote and recorded, and it was put together with a lot of fragmented ideas and somewhat of a chaotic energy. It feels a little bit like starting from the end, but leaves plenty of room to work back towards the beginning.” ≡♠   http://exclaim.ca/ 

Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On (October 23, 2015)