Half Moon Run — Seasons of Change EP (7/17/20)

This Montreal band released an album back in November of last year and is now back with an EP’s worth of songs from the recording sessions that didn’t make the release.

Half Moon Run brings a pristine shine to alternative music. The four members are all multi-instrumentalists and each shows an amazing amount of talent in their live performances. Lead vocalist Devon Portielje has a voice that absolutely glides through their music with an angelic effect.

There’s this grace to the band that I don’t find in most other music, mostly because of my tendencies towards pop-rock. My tastes are geared towards big melodic rock hooks and I know with Half Moon Run that’s just not what I’m going to get.

So, I have struggled to really invest myself in their sound in the past but I’ve always been impressed by the quality of their musicianship and the intricacies within their instrumentation.

And I feel like they just continue to grow on me with each album. This EP marks my third release with the band and it has me consistently pleased.

They chose a cohesive group of dominantly acoustic-based songs with a slightly folkish appeal. It was a smart choice to hold them off for a separate release as I don’t think they would have gelled so well with the more alternative-leaning stuff featured on last year’s album.

Listening through, I find myself easily able to enjoy these beautifully put together soft songs. There’s melody and structure to each of them, they carry a good weight of emotion, and the vocals are stunning as always.

The harmonized vocals are especially impressive. They stand out on “Look Me in the Eyes (Skitstövel)” and — the video helped trigger this thought — even give off a bit of a Queen vibe.

“All at Once” is the song on here that comes the closest to making my heart melt. I’m a sucker for a pedal steel guitar and they use it with this song to create that wonderfully dreamy country mood. And the harmonization is used to dazzling effect; the band members helping accentuate the main refrain as if it’s being sung from the heavens.

As beautiful as this stuff is, Half Moon Run’s music is definitely designed for a particular mood that doesn’t fit into my general lifestyle. There’s such a delicate grace to their music that’s so particular that it just doesn't work in most settings I find myself in. I can appreciate it for what it’s worth but I don’t ever find myself hungry for it.

They’ve still got my attention but I’m holding onto hope that they’ll pull through with something that stays true to their gorgeous sound but can manage to actually get me hooked. I just haven’t found that from them yet.