“I’M PROUD of the fact that, as we live and grow, we’re able to continue to make music that evolves and
changes and seems to be meaningful,” Conner Molander observes as his band, Half Moon Run, enter their twelfth year of existence.
“It’s not like we found a trick and had a successful album because of that trick, but ten years is a long time to be with a group of people doing creative work. You have to keep on allowing yourself to change and grow … and leave things behind.”
And a listen to the lead track from their new EP Inwards & Onwards, “It’s True”, shows that the band have so much vivacity, so much goddam power, pumping through their veins; the band hasn’t settled back into an easy midlife. And we’ve got the suitably monochrome video for that cracker down below.
Full of foreshadowed atmospherics, alive with echo, a graceful if portentous swing, the song explodes into absolute fire before leaving you beached, thrilled, wiped out from its intensity.
2019’s A Blemish In The Great Light was their most acclaimed album yet, a creative peak, but also something of a watershed: where now? There was a sense of change coming, even before a virus threw absolutely everything up in the air.
“Partway through the Blemish… album cycle, we were talking about how we needed to have a week-long retreat with the band and management to just discuss where we’re at,” Conner recounts.
“At that point, it had been almost a decade of the band being a thing, and you just accumulate this deadwood; any enterprise does. It just felt like we had burned through what we had in terms of creative resources. We weren’t super-excited about getting back together to write.”
Half Moon have kept the creativity flowing through lockdown with new music during that infernal year, 2020: the Seasons Of Change EP, a collection of outtakes from the Blemish… sessions and their popular Covideo Sessions series on YouTube, in which the scattered trio reworked selections from their back catalogue in split-screen virtual jam sessions, eventually compiled as an album. And then, after eight years, Isaac Symonds announced he was leaving, amicably.
When Covid hit,” Conner explains, “everybody in the world was going inside themselves and asking, ‘Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? And what can I get rid of?’ And in that context, Isaac decided it was time
for him to take a new direction. So somehow, in the midst of Covis, we just found the three of us – me, Dev, and Dyl – back together again, as we were ten years ago.”
And eschewing big-hitter producers, Conner, Dev and Dyl laid down their new six-track EP entirely on their own in their practice space studio, allowing them to re-establish their chemistry at their own pace.
“I heard [the Dark Eyes track] “Drug You” on the radio recently,” Conner says, “and I was just like, ‘Oh, yeah! There’s
Dev, there’s Dyl, and there’s me’; you can hear the three of us playing our parts, but they fit into one cohesive whole.
“I always wanted the band to feel that way, and a lot of the tracks on this EP do have that triangular quality: the separation in the voices, but the unity in the whole.”