Love You Moon - Waxwane
Record Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 20, 2008
I do not usually follow up every recommendation I get on this website; I pick out the ones I think will appeal to me the most, and I am guilty often of not trying to experiment with music outside of my normal range. On this occasion, I am very happy, however, that I decided to hear this artist out. Love You Moon is the side project of the Rx Bandits' Matt Embree. Combining influences from multiple genres, including acoustic, folk, and sometimes jazz, Embree has put Waxwane together beautifully, and has produced an album to rival the best releases of 2008 to date.
The album opener, "Screams in a Vacuum," is unfortunately my one main dislike of this album. Ever since I first heard this song on Love You Moon's Myspace, it has not particularly struck me in any way. But from the second track, "Please Come Home," everything falls into place. Embree's talent for writing complex, guitar-based melodies shines in this song, and this sorrowful song about losing a lover has a touching melancholy tone.
"Why Popstars Sell Silicon" is currently my favorite track from this record. Aurally simple, and relaxing to listen to, the song is an interesting take on the modern music scene. Another highlight is "Brown Shingle Berkely," which is more of a ballad than any other so far. The change of mood is timed perfectly for Waxwane, and this leads suitably on to the amazing "Late May's Gaze." Drawing on jazz influences, Embree creates an emotional vocal harmony with Lauren Coleman, of Pebaluna, in a song like nothing that the audience has previously heard on this offering. "David's Birthday" is definitely the most upbeat, 'danciest' tune which positively bounces its way through the chorus, and acts as an introduction to my other album favorite, "To Kill For You." This song is Embree returning back to basics: his passionate voice, meaningful lyrics and his acoustic guitar. Raw emotion is intertwined with a cleverly channeled message of disillusionment to produce one of the songs of the year.
The closing track "A New World" is fitting, as it brings in the idea of looking to the future, and I hope very much that Embree plans to create a future for Love You Moon.
A lot of promising side projects stall after producing a strong first album, and don't progress to new heights, or reach their full potential (see: The Postal Service), and it would be an immense shame if Love You Moon stuck in that rut. Waxwane is currently one of my favorite albums of 2008, and I can say now that I will still be playing it for a long time yet. The CD is worth buying for the artwork alone, it also has to be mentioned.
Needs a higher rating. The entire album is Embree 'returning back to basics', not just "To Kill For You". There's no way there won't be a second album. He has two more full albums worth of song material written out already. Other than that, fine review.