(Navigated Like The Swans )
Josh Ritter, Kings of Convenience, Blind Pilot
The indie folk genre is saturated with so many unusual artists today making it difficult for up and coming bands to break free and get noticed. One of these up and coming bands is Young Moon with their 2012 release Navigated Like the Swans. The band is spearheaded by singer/songwriter Trevor Montgomery, and his four-piece project from San Francisco, California play a soft and dreamy style of indie and folk music. The one flaw we have with the album is that every song sounds exactly the same, there is not much diversity going on here. The music is played very well, but it feels very repetitive, it’s hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. The vocals resemble a subdued, monotone Bruce Springsteen and do not offer much range. Combine these two elements and the album just seems somewhat tiring and does not hold our interest for very long.
"The Crystal Text" is a promising beginning and will draw you in. It’s an uplifting beautiful instrumental and could be the best cut off the album. The song structure is very well balanced and makes for a pleasant listen. The guitars, bass and synths play off each other very well. The next track "Walk in White" is a downer, especially coming off the previous track, what a way to take you out of an album and it’s only the second track. The next song, "Winds Light" bounces back a bit; it’s an interesting and heartfelt song. Moving onto "Northern Earth," this instrumental is a bit different and keeps our interest, but it gets tiring. The next two songs "March" and "A Reason" sound eerily similar and they are just flat. These two sounds like an old and weathered Bruce Springsteen who ran out of material. It’s a shame because the music is decent, if only there were some diversity or change-ups happening here.
"Cold Day Solstice" and "On The Verge" provide some needed rhythmic changes, there seems to be more life and hope into these songs. "Summit and Blue Air" starts promising with a steady bass, but somehow loses its way and drags on. "Emma James" is sad and shows some feeling, you kind of feel bad for the singer on this here, making this one of the better songs. The last track "Pondering Waves" is ok; it feels a little stale as the album just comes to a close.
If Young Moon could harness the style of the opening track and inject some change-ups and vibrancy into their song structures, than perhaps they could make waves in to the indie/folk world. - 11/5/2014
Standout Tracks: The Crystal Text, Emma James