Canadian four-piece band Half Moon Run are bringing their alternative-folk melancholia to Australian shores, kicking off the New Year and their national tour at the Woodford Folk Festival.
The 2016/ 2017 event will be the third on the group's tally of WFF line-ups graced, though singer Conner Molander insists the excitement levels for Woodford never waver. “We have such a good time at Woodford!” he exclaims.
“If we could come to Australia to play that festival every year, we would without hesitation.”
Performances in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will follow throughout January, as the indie-rockers promote their second studio album, ‘Sun Leads Me On’.
Set by the precedent of their 2012 debut, ‘Dark Eyes’, the thirteen-track record showcases stunning three-part harmonies and features various instruments, solidifying their reputation as a unit of talented multi-instrumentalists, with impressive vocal ranges to boot. “It can be tough to count the number of instruments we use, knowing where to draw the line,” Conner says.
“Some guitars have six strings, some have five, some have four, but are they all still technically guitars? Dozens of instruments overall would probably be accurate,” admits Conner.
While the album is etched with similar, underlying tones as the first, ‘Sun Leads Me On’ demonstrates significant progression lyrically, harmonically and musically, arguably establishing Half Moon Run as one to worship, instead of one to watch. “On the first record there were actually only three of us, whereas now there are four, for starters,” Conner explains.
“But beyond that, what are you doing if not progressing and developing? Any change in our music is a reflection of change in our lives. If there was no growth, things would be boring, and the music would suffer as a result.”
All 13 songs vary in sound and genre, ranging from acoustic folk to alternative rock and altogether producing a well-rounded, well-balanced collection of upbeat toe-tappers, and easy-listening, emotion-wrenching tunes.
Singles ‘Turn Your Love’ and ‘Trust’ in particular have been played on high rotation across multiple radio stations, two shining beacons of success despite initial difficulties in selecting those songs to pre-release, according to Conner. “It can be tough quantifying what makes a successful single. I quite like the more mellow songs – 'Narrow Margins' and 'Hands On The Gun' – but singles need to be relatively upbeat,” he says.
“All in all, my favourites tend to vary according to how I feel, or how I feel about playing them live at the time.”
Conner says touring extensively instils him with mixed emotions; though there are plenty of good times woven during and between gigs, being away from home for long periods of time can be tough. “As a band, we don’t particularly thrive in the environment of constant travel.
“Some people are cut out for it, although I find personally that it’s hard to maintain a steady balance of living my life, and doing my job as a musician. It’s definitely a challenge,” he says.
“But compared to what we normally stare down the barrel in terms of touring, the next load is fairly light. Usually we go for months and months on end. We can’t wait to come to Australia, to soak in the weather, to see the beaches, and to spend time with the people, which is always the best part.”
Half Moon Run Shows
28-29 Dec - Woodford Folk Festival (Sunshine Coast)Wed 11 Jan - The Triffid (Brisbane)Thu 12 Jan - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne)Sat 14 Jan - Metro Theatre (Sydney)