Who the Hell Are Lo Moon?
When you go see MUNA on tour this month do not miss the opening band.
Lo Moon by Cara Robbins
Lo Moon just keep cropping up. They first piqued our interest back in September when they dropped their debut song "Loveless"—a glacially gorgeous cut of epic indie with a bunch of opening bars that'll will make you quiver. Something in that beat, the shuffle and the finger click, the way the synths surge and then fall away to make way for the the singer's tones that sound not unlike early Thom Yorke. It's still the only track of theirs that exists online, and for a period of months there was a whole lotta nothing about them online. No deets about who was in the band or even where they were based. There was no video to study and dissect. But then they started playing live, small shows here and there, and they wound up opening for The Temper Trap, which resulted in the TT singer Dougy name-checking them as the new band he was most excited about. So we decided to stop in and see what was up. While "Loveless" is the undoubted crown jewel in their set, the trio—made up of Matt Lowell, Crisanta Baker, and Sam Stewart (Dave Stewart from The Eurythmics son)—create music that's expansive and cleanly crafted, an atmospheric peak, a melancholic trough. Every show they headline, they seem to sell out. Still no word on when the next song is going to hit, but they're out on their first ever proper tour, opening for MUNA (another band we have a lot of love for), starting today. So when you get there for MUNA, get there early for Lo Moon.
We caught up with singer Matt Lowell to find out a little bit more…
Noisey: There's three of you, plus Sterlin Laws on drums when you play live, but how does the songwriting process work?
Matt Lowell: The core of the songwriting process revolves around me, but I have always looked at songwriting as very collaborative. I think ideas flow so much better with people in the room and the more energy the better for me. Without the beauty and voices of everyone involved, these songs would not be what they are by the time any one hears it.
How long have you guys been incubating?
A long time. It just takes time. To put it into perspective "Loveless" was started four and half years ago. We've all been chasing music in one way shape or form for many years.
What's your biggest non-musical influence?
Novels and great authors. Camus, Updike, Chabon, Eggers, Michel Houlebecq, Joan Didion to name just a few!
If you had to choose an activity for the listener to engage in while listening to your music, what activity would that be?
I think there has to be two answers: In a dark room with your closest friends or driving. I have so many memories of connecting with and discovering my favorite records in both ways. We definitely visualized and hoped it might be digested this way while we were making the record.
What music did you guys bond over initially?
Rather then there being certain bands or genres we connected with, we bonded mostly over a certain emotion in music. We are all pretty obsessed with the nostalgia, beauty, and that melancholic feeling in all of our favorite records—it's such an important piece of the puzzle for us. Everyone in this band connects and discovers a lot of music, it's part of our make-up.
What's the deal with "Loveless"? You can't call a song "Loveless" without people thinking My Bloody Valentine. Are they an influence?
We all love that record so much, but honestly the lyric "Loveless is your answer time will pass" is exactly why I named the song—it's not an ode to MBV or that record at all. My Bloody Valentine live on their own planet, they're pretty untouchable, we can't and wouldn't want to fuck with that.
If you could liken the music you make to an emotion, what emotion would that be?
Hopeful. We really tried to make this record about a large range of emotions, but at the center of that is hopefulness. It's a record that moves from dark to light and has a strong feeling of journey, and at the core of the journey is hope and belief.
Seeing as you're all based in LA, how much of the city affects your music and how so?
We all live within five minutes of each other, but we're all from different parts of the world: NY, Colorado, and England, and I really think that has a lot to do with our sound. Yes we all met in LA and I think the way we discovered LA helped shape the record, but I have never considered us an LA band, just because it never felt right. I will say there's a very specific romanticism about the way the light feels at a certain time of day here, we talked about that a lot, and the way that makes us feel. We made most of this record in Seattle in the middle of winter, and we discovered Seattle as a band. We loved it there and it definitely helped shape a lot of the music.