Canadian Rock band Half Moon Run released a new album entitled Salt. The themes are life in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic and personal experiences.
The music is Alternative. The songs are spirited. There’s a great mix of the 70s, 80s, and 90s musical styles. Devon Portielje, Conner Molander, and Isaac Symonds each play their guitar remarkably. Dylan Phillips is remarkable at playing the drums. The record has rhythmic songs, some of which parallel the musical styles of Green Day and Oasis.
The album has rich, dynamic ballads. The song Everyone’s Moving Out East has a beautiful guitar sound playing in the background. It has a lovely Country music feel. It ends with a fantastic fade-out. Heartbeat has relaxing music. It reminds me of Maroon 5’s single She Will Be Loved, and Fastball’s the Way. Gigafire has a great beat with a U2 vibe- similar to the single Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For but with a slower tempo. Crawl Back In has a lovely banjo sound, parallel to Sarah McClachlan’s singles In the Arms of An Angel, and I Will Remember You. The ballads are beautiful and lively.
The record also has songs with unique semi-fast beats. You Can Let Go starts with interesting drums and then smoothly transitions guitar into a rhythm similar to the Cure’s 80s hit Just Like Heaven. It also has some parts that parallel Aha’s Take On Me and Oasis’ Wonderwall. Alco starts with an incredible guitar that gives the song a wavy rhythm. It has a suitable Summer beat with some of fast-paced moments. The song Hotel In Memphis has an exciting old-school vibe with some R&B touches. It parallels Gorillaz’s 2000 single Clint Eastwood. It has a bold piano beat.9beat has an intricate composition of epic drums combined with intense violin sounds. It reminds me of Bruno Mars’s Just The Way You Are. It’s also similar to David Bowie’s Modern Love and Golden Years. There’s a fantastic dance-inspired beat. The violin solo adds a special touch. The transition from the dance beat to the violin is perfect. Dodge The Rubble has a smooth guitar sound. It then boldly changes to whistling in the background, like in old Western movies, and intense beats create suspense. Goodbye, Cali has fantastic gradual changes in tempo with incredible acoustic guitar playing mixed in with some electric guitar. It ends with a Jazz-style piano sound – an exciting twist. The piece Salt has an 80s vibe. It parallels Eurethmics’ Sweet Dreams and – Everything but the Girl’s single The Dessert Missed The Rain. It has an impressively smooth rhythm.
The music is phenomenal throughout the album. The intricacy of combining musical styles and tempo changes (smooth or sudden) is impressive.
Devon Portielje’s voice is fantastic. He sings each song soulfully, with feeling and vulnerability. His vocal style has excellent depth. He sings from the heart.
The lyrics are moving and vulnerable. Some songs cover the struggles of coping with lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic and some introspection.
Some songs tell personal stories about the experiences of the members of Half Moon Run faced. You Can Let Go is a catchy song about moving on and letting. The introspection is profound and poetic. Alco is a profound metaphor about life after separation, in this context, ending things with an ex-business partner, a personal story for the band. Everyone’s Moving Out East is about life and many people choosing to move East from Montreal during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a resonant subject adjusting to a new normal. Heartbeat is about missing a loved one, a profound heartbreak, in this case, possibly missing a child through a sense of confusion and uncertainty. It can be open to interpretation – a dream-like feeling. Goodbye, Cali is a heartfelt travel song that covers California culture and perspective changes. It also mentions cities where they performed, which adds a personal touch.
Half Moon Run made a bold choice only to have verses and no chorus with the following two songs, Gigafire and Crawl Back In. Gigafire is a fantastic piece about living life and not taking anything for granted. Crawl Back In is a sad piece about life’s struggles and the desire to isolate from everything and everyone. The heartache is profound.
Other songs use symbolism and metaphor to describe various emotions with great imagination and depth. The piece Hotel In Memphis has a remarkable complexity that represents abstract anxiety and even curiosity. There’s an unusual component of overthinking, including the struggles of keeping secrets. The repetition has the feeling of a down whirl spiral. The intricacy is well-thought-out in expressing these intense emotions. The song 9beat is heartfelt and nostalgic. The simplicity of the lyrics is an excellent choice. It impressively uses a less is more approach. Dodge The Rubble represents a sense of confusion, poetically well-written. It could be a song about the environmental issues happening around the world. The repetition is an intelligent approach to expressing a sense of distress. Salt is a metaphor for the importance of a significant other in one’s life like salt is essential for flavour.
The songs have great lyrics, rich in language and poetry. The depth of each piece is remarkable.
The album Salt is available.