Ever had a friend who you know is fuelled by a mischief and adventure which will only get you in trouble and indulging in bad habits but the fun is rich reward for it all? Then you have a sense of what UK band ERNEST MOON offers and how compelling and irresistible a company new album Skipping to Maloo is.
It is a collection of songs which coax ears and the imagination into intimate engagement, drawing a sense of self-reflection from thoughts whilst being taken into their personal contemplations which have an almost ‘kitchen sink’ like drama to their breath. Yet they bear a grin and mischief which teases and taunts like little devils, our own soon in league with the band’s own.
The Liverpool outfit was formed in 2017 and consists of Steven Doran and Brian Murphy who also draw on the craft of fellow musicians with the new encounter embracing the rhythmic lures of drummer Jake Woodward and the strings and vocal prowess of Amy Chalmers and Vicky Reid. Theirs is an eclectic mix of sounds around inimitable songwriting, a richly individual proposition as already proven in the band’s two EPs to date, Ba-jesus and UH.
Skipping to Maloo is no different in its varied proposals and cunning devilment and swiftly working its manipulative charm with opener Taloolah Ray. The song saunters in with a bad boy gait and matching intrigue, shimmers of swarthy melody and temptation soon joining in. The pair’s guitar and keys continue to cast a tale of shadows and romance, a tale of atmosphere and suggestion further told by strings and the just as captivating vocals and words shared. The track is superb, flirtation and reminiscence united in storytelling and indie pop captivation.
Latest single Unkind follows and just as quickly held our appetite in its creative tasting, its gentle stroll and melodic contemplation an evocative musing alone with the duo’s lyrics and the floating harmonies of the ladies a blossom of poignancy. Again captivation was inevitable as it was too for the funk inclinations of Some Tea, a greedily devoured song with the vague flirtation of artists like Talking Heads, China Crisis and The Christians to its controlled yet animated swing.
The Cotswolds is a summery canter with its own unique smile and stringed radiance, a slice of indie pop with that scouse individuality which has enriched the genre for decades while Maybe we can love is a country folk kissed hug of radiance, a ballad to snuggle up to. Both songs simply held court with attention and pleasure before She forgot her kiss goodbye shared its low key Americana melancholy within a shadows wrapped serenade, it too an engrossing and reward bearing engagement for ears and thought.
The album is completed by the final pair of Champion Stupid, an acoustic bred flume of beauty, and the quite excellent Big Wow. The last track is a slice of blues lit rock ‘n’ roll, an enticer of physical and vocal participation with an untamed character to its breath and devil-may-care instinct beneath its protagonist’s supressed life.
It is an outstanding end to an outstanding release which we lustily suggest as companion to your fiery summer. A line in the description of the release on its Bandcamp page says these could be the last tunes from the band; we can only hope it is not so but as a parting, Skipping to Maloo is a true gift.
Skipping to Maloo is out now and available digitally and on CD @ https://ernestmoon.bandcamp.com/album/skipping-to-maloo-2
Pete RingMaster 21/07/2022
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