For any musician or artist the first material you want to unleash on the world needs to pack a punch. So when the reverberant sounds of guitar kick into the opening track of Malmo quartet, True Moon’s self-titled debut record, it immediately makes the listener stand up and pay attention.
I’m a sucker for a tone setting opening track, and with ‘Voodoo’ that is exactly what you get. Shredding guitar tones and a catchy hook of a chorus, gives the indication that True Moon are on to a good thing.
The band – born from Karolina Engdahl (vocals/bass) and Tommy Tift’s (guitar) mounting frustration with an increasingly sanitised and homogenous Scandinavian musical community – offers a raw, pure, and visceral reconnection with rock’s most primal, feral, black-hearted urges. However, there’s also throwbacks to the late 70s and early 80s UK post-rock scene, with certain tracks even sounding like they would be right at home at the height of the new romantic era.
With the use of electronics and rhythmic drums on tracks like ‘Just Like Smoke’ there are clear signposts to this influence, but True Moon put their own twist on it and bring it into the modern day. Though some influences stand out more than others – with nods to Joy Division, Killing Joke and Sisters of Mercy, ‘Run Run Run’ stands out. The track is an unflinching examination of lust and desire, rejection and betrayal.
With each track the record just gets stronger. As you hit the halfway point with ‘Gung’ – a personal favourite – you are fully on board with its unorthodox groove and you can really appreciate the beauty in Engdahl’s voice. But it’s not just her voice – it’s the subtlety of the lyrics too. On the initial listen you’re hit by the guitar tones and Engdahl’s voice, while on a second spin you’ll appreciate the lyrical content.
If you were to say that True Moon were an undiscovered gem from a bygone era, then it would be a pretty easy mistake to make. However, that is not to say the quartet are pure homage – they have created a sound not akin to their Swedish origins, but one many music fans will embrace with open arms.
True Moon is out in the UK on April 28th via Lövely Records.