Photos by Tim Toda
Soon after returning from the studio, Half Moon Run visited Brooklyn for a sold-out, intimate show. Their sophomore album, Sun Leads Me On, showed a promising new sound that easily translated to an amazing live performance. Playing at both Rough Trade in London and Rough Trade in Brooklyn on this leg, it was quite humbling to see the four-piece band carry a full show without any openers.
Straight into the first song, “Turn Your Love”, their new album sounded as gorgeous live as it would through a vinyl set at home. As the setlist progressed, I was blown away by the incredible multi-instrumental performances — often carrying vocals, drums and keyboard at the same time, Dylan Phillips and Isaac Symonds provided a solid frame for each song. Frontmen Devon Portielje and Conner Molander both had constant smiles on their faces, particularly after hearing fans cry out “I love you!” It doesn’t seem like the Canadian band is losing any momentum, particularly in their live show!
We also had a chance to ask the band a few questions. Check out photos and their responses below!
First off, I want to say the second album is absolutely gorgeous. While it has tracks inspired by a similar styles from your debut album, it also sounds completely new and reinvents your style in a way. What kind of inspirations did you draw when writing the new album?
Thank you. I think we’ve all learned a lot about the world and ourselves since our last record and that growth has inspired this record. There is a always a common thread of yearning and/or nostalgia in our music that is often the root of each song.
Did you have any memorable experiences during your road trip to California, and did that shape the outcome of your new album?
We’ve been to California several times on tour, but this was our first time recreationally. It was the simple life really. We surfed by day, essentially every single day, then made a huge feast and played music into the evening. Dreamy.
It has been a while since the band toured. Were you guys eager to go back out to the road to perform after being in the studio for a year? And how has these new material translated in front of a live crowd?
It’s funny you say that. The California trip grew out of a desire to go back ON the road! There was a bit of a learning curve with the new songs, but I think we’ve got the hang of it now. It feels great to play!
With so many talented multi-musicians in the band, did you guys have any conflicts with creative decisions when writing the new songs? And has that helped evolve your sound as a band?
We really try to listen to the root of the song and the emotion behind it and simply follow that. People have all kinds of different ideas and we either talk or play our way through the mud. Eventually we reach a place where everyone is happy. It’s really awesome to have a bunch of guys who can switch instruments up readily — although sometimes the bigger ideas get rather daunting to execute night after night!