In little over a year, The Moonlands have built up a diverse and refined repertoire encompassing funky jazz jams, folk ballads, and sing-along anthems. After igniting Glasgow and Edinburgh’s grassroots Flat Gig scene, the band have played live music venues across Scotland and a three-night stint at Knockengorroch World Ceilidh 2019. These electrifying stage performances and intimate acoustic sets have built a cult following of fans from across the country.
With the festival season postponed and once-bouncing venue floors collecting dust, the Edinburgh-based four-piece have been busy crafting their unique blend of psych-folk-rock in their home studio in the Marchmont flat they share. With the post-lockdown haze dispersing, and the arrival of the band’s latest single “It Don’t Bring Me Down”, it’s the perfect time to go into orbit and shine the moonlight on one of Scotland’s most exciting new bands.
Creatively it’s been a busy time for The Moonlands, with two albums worth of original electric and acoustic material written and arranged, there’s an unreleased catalogue waiting to see the light of day. Importantly, song-writing and composition is shared between each band member, allowing a synthesis of personal tastes and musical impressions to populate each track. The multi-instrumentalist nature of production permeates the band’s live shows as each member effortlessly glides between on-stage roles, adding a uniqueness to every performance.
The Moonlands’ diverse musical roots bring a menagerie of sounds to the table, producing a cross-pollination of ideas and musical styles. Vocalist-drummer Tenzin Stephen (who also plays the flute, mandolin, Irish whistle, saxophone, and bodhran), recently toured with a musical production of Tess of the D’urbervilles and works with psych-folk band Avocet. Mischa Stevens plays the bass, guitar and banjo. A seasoned performer with some of Edinburgh’s jazziest musical exports, his most recent groups, Jambouree, BamJam and Nimbus Sextet, have fine-tuned his instinct for funky grooves. A former member of Jambouree and alumni of countless other bands, Matt Harold brings a wealth of production and engineering expertise to the project while also shredding live guitar solos and vocals. Nick Murray is a professional church-organist, with a life-long relationship with the piano and guitar. Nick’s song-writing draws on many sources, with his time spent in Granada as the inspiration for the group’s “Spanish Civil War Song“.
Following their meditative, hymn-like debut single, “Welcome to the Day“, the band’s latest release, “It Don’t Bring Me Down”, is an anthemic festival sing-along. A put-your-hands-in-the-air ode to positive thinking and resilience in a time where life seems stagnant for so many. Complete with rising harmonies, rock-odyssey textures and funky breakdowns, the latest offering transports the listener back to those green festival fields; sun in your eyes, a warm lager can in your hand. Until that time comes around again, check out the band’s live takes online, especially the phenomenal “Waterloo Sunset” cover. If recent releases are anything to go by, The Moonland’s debut album ‘And The Day Goes On…’ promises to be a musical smorgasbord of genre defying gems. This moon is a-rising.
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