Poor Moon

by | Aug 8, 2012 | Reviews

“Woodsy bearded baroque-folk”

Poor Moon

Seattle, WA

(Sub Pop)

Although this is the first full-length album under the Poor Moon moniker, the musicians who make up the group are anything but strangers to the indie-folk scene.  Frontman Christian Wargo has played alongside Casey Wescott in several other successful groups, including Crystal Skulls, Pedro the Lion, and most notably Fleet Foxes, whose sophomore album was released to wide acclaim last year.  Fans of Fleet Foxes will find Poor Moon’s pastoral folk-pop sound familiar, and there are moments of reverb-drenched harmonic “ooing” that could easily have been found on a Fleet Foxes record.  But Poor Moon is more than just Fleet Foxes with shuffled personnel.  Poor Moon does exactly what a side project ought to do – building upon the sonic foundation of the bands that contribute to its lineage, while departing from it in a purposeful and meaningful way.

For better or for worse, Poor Moon is a quirkier and more experimental project than Fleet Foxes.  Although the record clocks in at a tidy 30 minutes, Wargo’s ambition as a songwriter and especially as an arranger comes through marvelously – in addition to the obligatory acoustic guitar and vocal harmony, a whole range of instrumental colors are used to great effect, including everything from the cricket sounds and whistling on the opening track, “Clouds Below,” to the baroque-style harpsichord solo on “Phantom Light,” to the vibraphone that adorns several tracks, including the album’s probable single, “Holiday.”  Wargo’s songs are warm and melodic throughout, and his lyrics weave skillfully between the personal and the abstract, making Poor Moon a strong debut from a group that, with any luck, will soon become more than just a sideshow.

Produced by Poor Moon

Mixed by Jared Hankins

Mastered by Bernie Grundman