October 2, 2011
Seems like we’ve had a pretty long stretch of dreary weather here in the northeast U.S., so queuing up some music from a Boston-based band called Blue Moon Harem seemed like a good way to brighten the day up a bit.
There are a lot of bands out there vying for the world’s attention these days and although many of them are quite good, I don’t stumble upon new acts too often that I will actually spend time listening to. That’s pretty much how I decide if I’m inspired enough to write about a new band. If I put their music on and don’t shut it off within 30 seconds or so, I feel as though I may be onto something. If I listen to the entire album and then start from the beginning and listen to the whole thing again, I know I am onto something. That was the case with Blue Moon Harem’s latest album.
The new release is called Finland, which also happens to be the title of my favorite track off this new album. This is their second album, although previous to the release of Finland, I had not heard of them.
Founded by Jonathan Bix and Demetri Joannou, Blue Moon Harem has been garnering more and more attention as listeners to internet radio stations like Reverb Nation and Jango Radio discover their music. They’ve also been putting time in on the road, becoming somewhat of a fixture on the New York City club scene. Although I describe them as “new,” the group has been around for a few years, releasing their self-titled debut album during 2002.
Having sampled tracks from their first album, I wholeheartedly agree that their decision to become “more focused on songcraft than technological wizardry” was the right way to go. That’s not to say that their first album sucked, but I’m not sure it’s one that would have made its way onto my regular play list.
With the release of Finland, however, I think these guys are really starting to hit their stride. It’s got elements of that “classic” rock and roll sound that drew me in on the very first listen. Comparing the two albums gives one the impression that they decided on a pretty extensive make-over.
With the release of Finland a couple of weeks behind them, Blue Moon Harem is taking their new music on the road with bassist Pep Hernandez and drummer Steve Hart rounding out the group.
The video below – albeit a bit rough quality-wise – shows that these guys are indeed at their best when they step away from the electronics a bit and let their songwriting, musicianship and vocal abilities shine.