Moon Halo’s 2nd album ‘Together Again’ is set for release on 14th March. The 70 minute/13 track album has been almost 2 years in the making and has been put together by the same creative team that released debut CHROMA in 2020: Iain Jennings (Mostly Autumn) keyboards, Marc Atkinson (Riversea) vocals, Dave Clements (Riversea) bass, Martin Ledger (Heather Findlay Band) guitars, Alex Cromarty (ex- Mostly Autumn/Riversea) drums and Anne-Marie Helder (Panic Room) additional vocals.
As most of you will know, I have always been a big fan of the vocal talents of Marc Atkinson, be it with Riversea, his own solo releases or the first Moon Halo album. He has one of those distinctive voices that I just love and, when combined with the array of musical talent that constitutes the make up of Moon Halo, you just know you are in for something rather special.
Well, on ‘Together Again’, I think they have hit the motherlode, so to speak. This is, in my opinion, the best thing that Marc has ever been involved in and just a wonderful release. Iain Jennings’ keyboard skills are consummate, Alex Cromarty and Dave Clements combine to deliver a rhythm section of the highest quality and Martin Ledger is on fire with his guitar.
All of this would be a moot point if the songwriting wasn’t up to scratch and, thankfully, on this album, it is properly top drawer. Opener Light In The World gives a really upbeat start to the album, Together Again is a really funky track where the keyboards have an excellent vibe to them, a properly grin inducing piece of music. Embrace This Life is anthemic, moody and brilliant and makes it obvious, only three tracks in, that the band have delivered something special.
While the album may have been created by musicians with a progressive rock background, it isn’t what you’d necessarily call a prog album, it is just a great album where the music does the talking, led by Marc’s velvety smooth vocals. That’s not to say that there isn’t seriousness to the music, take If This Is All There Is, a sombre, almost melancholy tale that is delivered perfectly. We’ve Still Got Time, an ultimately uplifting track that tells us that we shouldn’t give up and one that just bleeds wistful serenity. Wasteland is a powerful statement underpinned by the excellent keyboards once again.
There’s a calm reassurance from the music that Moon Halo create, they are storytellers of great skill and class and musicians of no little skill, combine this and you get tracks like Reconnected, emotive and passionate and ultimately consoling. Fancy a bit of 80’s soul? About Me And You has that brilliant piano note and wah-wah guitar that takes you back, it’s just a superb track and one of my favourites on the album, Marc once again proving he has the voice for any genre and Martin given free rein on a superb guitar solo. The genuine, thoughtful feel of Stories To Tell backs yet another elegant and impressive track and there’s a fluid grace to the funky, soul infused delight of Back To Normality.
It Was You has a childlike innocence and Sandman Is Waiting a darker, more deliciously chaotic note. The album closes with the bluesy Life Goes On, an inspiring song that wears its heart on its sleeve and has an overarching deep south Americana soulful feel to it and is a perfect way to finish the album.
Moon Halo have returned with an album full of impressive, heartfelt songs that just leave a smile on your face. It is one of the best releases I’ve heard this year so far and one that the band should all be rightfully proud off. Hesitate no more, just go and buy it!
Released 14th March 2022
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