Moon Honey, Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

Moon Honey, <em>Hand-Painted Dream Photographs</em>

I’m a very, very recent convert to Baton Rouge band Moon Honey (formerly known as Twin Killers, by the by, in case you’ve seen that on bills with The Manichean or other like-minded folks), but now that I’ve heard ’em, well…damn. This month saw the release of brand-new album Hand-Painted Dream Photographs, and it’s truly something else, trust me.

I’ll grant that it does take a little listening to really get what the band’s doing, especially with vocalist Jessica Ramsey’s warbly/wavery, strange-yet-compelling voice, but hang in there a bit and you’ll get sucked in, sure enough. The closest analogue I can come up with to this band is H-town’s own soul-psych-prog heroes The Tontons, since both bands are murky and complicated and kinda-sorta jam-y at times, with constantly-shifting song structures (seriously, Moon Honey never really stops moving) and heavy doses of prog/jazz and soul underpinning the whole thing.

Where they differ, though, is in Moon Honey’s more orchestral, more baroque approach on some of the album; those intricate, seemingly fragile moments are where they look more like The Decemberists or the aforementioned Manichean than anything else, with Ramsey coming off like Joanna Newsome lost in some candlelit forest — see the shambling, shuddering opening track “The Cathedral,” in particular, or maybe the ridiculously delicate “The Ship”.

The band never lets itself get pinned down, though, and fearlessly charges through tracks like “Lady Lazarus,” which rides a propulsive, almost samba-like rhythm and throws in some seriously jazzy horns towards the end. Then there’s “The Two Fridas,” which makes me think of a less-angry mr. Gnome, alternately fragile and thundering, with guitars and drums that stomp and crush their way along while Ramsey croons and shivers, or “She Touched the Hem of His Garment,” which is dark and moody and halfway to being a trip-hop throwback track.

At the end of the day, then, Photographs is the sound of a band doing something you really haven’t ever heard before, even if you might’ve heard something in the same general neighborhood. I put on the album expecting to just give it a cursory listen…but after a couple of tracks, I couldn’t bring myself to hit “Stop,” even after it had gone around a couple of times. And yeah, I’m going to let it go around again for a few more.

[Moon Honey is playing 12/18/13 at Warehouse Live’s Green Room, along with Televangelist, Sunrise and Ammunition, Nikkhoo, P.L.X.T.X, & WellWell.]
(self-released; Moon Honey -- http://moonhoneyband.com/; Moon Honey (Facebook) -- https://www.facebook.com/moonhoneyband; Moon Honey (Twitter) -- https://twitter.com/moonhoneyband; Moon Honey (Bandcamp) -- http://moonhoney.bandcamp.com/)
BUY ME: Bandcamp

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, December 18th, 2013. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “Moon Honey, Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

  1. Jason Smith on December 21st, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I have the gold vinyl. You shall come over and listen!

  2. Jeremy Hart on December 21st, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Oh, hell yeah. :)

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  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Wheel Workers + Glass the Sky + A Sundae Drive + Moon Honey + the last place you look + Blood on the Strand + Deleted Scenes + More on September 8th, 2015 at 11:25 am

    […] and (on the other side of things) a whole lot of delicate folkiness. Their most recent album, Hand-Painted Dream Photographs, is […]

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