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Poor Moon

Illusion EP

(Sub Pop; US: 27 Mar 2012; UK: 26 Mar 2012)

The go-to conclusion would be to dub Seattle band Poor Moon just a side-project for members of Fleet Foxes and the Christmas Cards. Of course the folk-rock quartet — Foxes’ Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott and the Cards’ Ian and Peter Murray — shares much in common with those bands’ sounds, but as debut EP Illusion shows, their style is complimentary to their parent bands’ work, rather than a mere offshoot of it.

Illusion’s five songs occupy a dreamy netherworld elicited by the hushed, acoustic instrumentation and subdued production.  The work as a whole is something of a nocturnal response to Fleet Foxes’ output, with Wargo’s songwriting arguably more concise and his melodies more obvious than that of Foxes’ helmsman Robin Pecknold. His lyrical concerns address the banality of modern life through tales of social dissatisfaction. The titular song is a first-person expression of the dichotomy innate to nascent adulthood — a lust to achieve one’s potential and an insecurity to venture out to try. The following tracks are vignettes of characters seeking their place in the world or rendered asunder by it. “People in Her Mind” details the plight of an overlooked young woman fated to anonymity, while the eerie “Once Before” laments the self-destructive quality of love. Only closing track “Widow” sounds too much like the Foxes, and that only in the opening, wordless vocal harmonizing.

As a sampler, the EP does its job wonderfully — introducing Poor Moon and whetting the public’s appetite for a full-length album.


A product of Midwest malaise, Cole Waterman spent the bulk of his formative years immersed in the works of Tom Waits, the Doors, the Replacements, John Lee Hooker, the Stooges, Captain Beefheart, Morphine, Alice in Chains, John Coltrane, PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. Regrettably grown up, he pays the bills working as a crime reporter in the Michigan mitten.

Poor Moon - Illusion
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7 Oct 2012
Poor Moon still feels like its developing, which makes this first full-length an uneven, sometimes frustratingly safe record, but it also makes it an album of some promise.
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