Poor Moon: Illusion EP


Back when longtime friends Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, both of Fleet Foxes fame, and brothers Ian and Peter Murray of the underrated Seattle act The Christmas Cards, began playing intimate living room concerts at friends’ house parties, they went by an assortment of different names, from Rabbit Kingdom to Cookie Mask to Peppermint Majesty.

The quartet, which began four years ago as a long distance file-sharing project between the four pals while the Foxes were touring in support of their eponymous 2008 debut, finally settled on the handle Poor Moon after frontman Wargo’s favorite Canned Heat tune. And after gaining a greater sense of notoriety following a gig opening up for a solo show from Deakin of Animal Collective at the Jet City haunt Numeros, the band was quickly snatched up by the talent scouts at Sub Pop to begin work on their first official recording, the five-song Illusion EP.

Crafted in an assortment of personal and professional venues, including bedrooms, practice spaces, the Murray family home and established Seattle studios AVAST! and Fastback, Illusion is far too good to be tossed off as just some Fleet Foxes rip, which several reviews online have already declared it to be. Though short on time, this five song taster of what’s to come is long on melody and crack musicianship, book ended by a pair of striking ribbons of pastoral folk meditations in the title cut and “Widow” that call to mind Bridge Over Troubled Water-era Simon & Garfunkel more so than the CSNY-evoking canyon fantasies of Wargo and Wescott’s primary outfit.

But it’s the meat in the middle of this extended player that proves to be the real surprise here, as tracks like “People In Her Mind” and “Once Before”—powered by the rhythms of former FF drummer J. Tillman (currently doing business as Father John Misty)—showcase songwriter Wargo’s ability to conjure up excellent psych-pop tunes that sound so authentic you’d think the group was trying to pass off deep cuts from The Turtles’ Turtle Soup and The Zombies’ lost 1966 LP I Love You as their own original compositions.

Indeed, it will be most interesting to see how Poor Moon’s distinctive rattle and strum will evolve on their forthcoming full-length due out on Sub Pop later this year. But if Illusion is any indication, whatever variation of this unique fusion of vintage pop harmony and dour acoustic melancholy will be quite a treat with these immensely talented players at the helm—regardless of what name they might be going by at that point.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide