If you are not familiar with the works of Fleet Foxes, we highly recommend you delve into their library of terrific albums. Poor Moon is an offshoot side project of theirs led by Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott and has eluded mainstream play and popularity. Poor Moon blends different and darker harmonies than Fleet Foxes and builds character through its use of raw stripped down simplistic production along with an array of diverse instruments such as the harpsichord, whistling, marimba, washboard and zither. Initially we found ourselves yearning for Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Noel Pecknold. After several rotations, however, we quickly got past this and like a wet sponge absorbed their appealing sound. Bottom-line is that the retro-folk sound of Poor Moon is warm, imaginative and nostalgic
The initial track "Clouds Below" exudes the flavor of a soft lullaby, a unique start to an album that grabbed our attention. The second track "Phantom Light" is buttressed by some superb lyrics and bountiful harpsichord work. The imagery and beauty describing a burning candle really and its surroundings is intriguing with dark undertones. “I wonder how it burns that way.” The track "Same Way" follows with impressive piano-work that morphs into marimba play. A unique touch. Of all the songs on the album, the vocals on this track most emulate the Fleet Foxes style.
Tracks six, "Heavan's Door" has a heavier edge. Utilizing some euphoric organ and guitar work. The echoey vocals float throughout and the 60s retro vibe becomes prominent. The dancing organ becomes infectious and the darker lyrics blend nicely. This track will grow on you after several listens. Its quirky but we have grown to love it. The subsequent track "Pulling Me Down" is really the only track that lacks the feeling and depth of the other songs, interrupting the flow and beauty of the album. Things pick back up nicely with "Buck Pony" as the array of harpsichord, percussion, and guitar rhythms shine. The closing track "Birds" is terrific ending, reminding us of the great Simon and Garfunkel. Soft and descriptive along with hymnal trance. "If I just close my eyes I am reminded of a certain time." This song punctuated for us the beautiful outdoorsy appeal of Poor Moon.
We are happy to have stumbled upon Poor Moon. While being the side project of a few members of the great Fleet Foxes certainly was the impetus behind our perusal of the album, Poor Moon has grown into something quite special in our obscure library. Music enthusiasts need this type of music to not only keep our blood pressure down, but also accompany us on life's journeys. After adding Poor Moon to your library, we also recommend you delve into their 2012 EP entitled Illusions. - 8/2/2014
Standout Tracks: Phantom Light, Birds, Heaven's Door