Published Oct 21, 2015On their sophomore album, Half Moon Run wear their influences on their sleeves. The quiet opening volley of "Warmest Regards" gives way to a record that bounces back and forth from Springsteenian rock to more complex Radiohead vibes, sometimes balancing the two at once. "Turn Your Love" pulls of this balancing act nicely, taking a quiet "I'm On Fire"-style guitar riff and surrounding it with a rhythmically complex percussion and spooky harmonies. Dynamically, this album is pretty great, managing to manipulate the flow not just moment-to-moment during the songs, but track-to-track, trading huge, anthemic rock tunes for quiet introspective folk-tinged ballads.
A lot of the tracks here take on the "cowboy rock" style that bands like Lord Huron have begun to push. It's an interesting response to a lot of modern rock that has skewed more towards the pop idiom, yet Half Moon Run don't fully commit to one style on this record, with the penultimate track "The Debt" fully embracing the Radiohead sound, as a quiet synth background holds up a soft, melancholy vocal line. With Sun Leads Me On, Half Moon Run are attempting to shake the title of "that band with that song" and show off how far they have come, and for the most part, it works. (Indica)