Album Review: Sun Leads Me On- Half Moon Run

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By  Marissa Lee

Montreal-based foursome Half Moon Run described the development of Sun Leads Me On

as coming from a place “that felt a little bit like being underwater,” the struggles of life and music

and getting themselves off the ground as a band weighing on them through recording- a theme

that’s definitely evident in the lyrics of many of the songs.

 

Sun Leads Me On is the band’s second studio album, and includes singles Hands in the

Garden, Turn Your Love, and Trust. On first listen, it sounds sort of eclectic; you’re not

immediately sure what the trajectory of the album is going to be. Influences range from Tom

Odell (“Hands in the Garden” – a personal favourite) to Dallas Green (“Everybody Wants”), to

more electronically driven artists like Arcade Fire (“Consider Yourself”, “Trust”). But ultimately,

the vocals are what pulls the album together. The addition of fourth member Isaac Symonds

makes the album sound fuller in a way than did their previous Dark Eyes. There’s really an

overall sense of collectivity- they all sing, they’re all on keys, they’re all playing at least two

instruments. No one member stands out over the others; they’re collaboratively creating every

song. That’s sort of the layout of the album as well, the product as a whole is more impressive

than the individual songs. That’s not to say that the songs themselves aren’t impressive-the

singles have all done well on their own-but there’s the sense that they’re meant to exist as a

whole entity.

 

“Consider Yourself” and “Throes” deviate the most from the folk-reminiscent style of the rest of

the album, though in totally opposite ways. “Consider Yourself” favours an electronic indie style,

sounding like it would’ve fit right in with the similar electronic styles of New Wave music in the

80s. “Trust” is much alike in style, though it’s more grounded with the rest of the album vocally.

“Throes” on the other hand, is a piano instrumental, somewhat darker than the rest, as connoted

by its name. They break up the ethereal acoustic-folk theme a bit while still managing to fit

within the album as a whole.

 

The band manages to find the perfect balance of congruency, without falling into the trap of all

of their songs sounding the same, snapping the listener out of the assumption that they’re just

another half decent folk-indie band. My first thought listening to this was that it would be great

for a road trip – enough variability that you wouldn’t get bored, but fluid enough to maintain the

mood.


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