Not just a balm for anxious times, but a wholly unique and personal take on psych and blues rock that offers vast mental roaming space, mind-altering gong ceremonies and room to get your groove on to boot, Dark Moon’s immersive debut album, Lost In Love & Fear, has just hit our physical plane – and they’re about to play an album launch show this Wednesday, November 30 at the London Fields Brewhouse on Warburton Street.
To celebrate all of this, we not only have a stream of the album in its entirety, but, courtesy of vocalist Lola Ulalume and guitarist Callum Sadler, a track by track guide to a record that very much feels like a journey and an enlightening rite of passage.
Free your mind, check your ass ain’t far behind and lift off into the eerie and enthralling world of Dark Moon right here!
“Our vision for the album was to create a sensory audio journey where the songs engage with one another to create a floating soundscape that together tells a story. Dusty Dreams is a very atmospheric led track that works as an entrance into our sound. It gives a taster to the contrast that one can expect… the light, the dark, the ethereal, the heavy. It started off as nothing more than a demo of a guitar riff that soon took on a life of its own.”
I WALK ON GUILDED SPLINTERS
“This is a cover of the Dr John song, and his sense of groove is amazing. Subtle rhythmic ideas through his music, especially his earliest albums are exceptional. So many of our favourite albums include a cover song, it’s almost a part of the equation and loved playing this song. On the whole we recorded the album live and this is a great example of that, as it’s very much built on the bands interplay. This particular track was recorded on All Hallows Eve so the mood in the studio was just right!”
“I Fly is about a voyage out of ordinary reality, a theme that runs throughout the album for anyone wanting to look closer. This song sets the tone for the impending journey ahead, again a subtle taster of what we may be searching for. It’s light-hearted nevertheless, more like a melancholic daydream that just scratches the surface.”
LOST IN LOVE & FEAR
“Going further into the sound and the journey Lost in Love & Fear catapults you into a frenzy of heavy rhythms and in the funk ethos where the ‘ONE’ is king. The lyrics are wailing about which way to go, whilst the backdrop of the beat is holding you down. The message is about contrast, caught between the light and the dark. The light is calling and the path is clear, but the force of transmutation of the darkness into the light is strong.”
“This is the gateway track for the album, gliding from one realm to the other. The gong creates the space for the listener to elevate their state and is integral to our live sound. We wanted to represent this on the album and to give the gong its own space. The track was in fact taken from a gong ceremony that Lola held for the band in the Rockfield Studio so there is intention behind the sound. The name of the track references the bridge between the seat of the mind and the light of awakening.”
INTO THE DARK
“Journeying on to the other side, this track quietly speaks of past lives, distant memories, the unknown – where you know you’ve been before. The track was built on top of a loped drum beat, which was recorded in the stairwell outside the coach house studio. Mics were placed in unusual ambient places, like corridors and the famous ‘wonder wall’. Soaking up the history and the atmosphere of the studio itself, further infusing the mystery and depth it into the track.”
“Honour was one of the only songs written just before we recorded the album, with the lyrics and instrumentation in synchronicity. The ambience and the feel embodying our sound and mood. It’s reflecting on and honouring the elements of life. It was the first track recorded for the album, almost like an honouring of the process ahead.”
“Samsara was one of the first songs Lola ever wrote. Based upon lyrics that had been found after her father had passed. She felt the song needed to be finished, which she did. It was then forgotten for many years until one night, the band were playing around with a hypnotic jam and somehow the song just shapeshifted into Samsara! It’s a dark lullaby, singing of the natural rhythm of life and death. It took on many different forms through time, similar to the message of the song. The loop plays in the background of the recording, almost like the pulse of the earth that keeps beating as the souls and the sounds weave in and out. There is a faint bending of time in the song as the tape we tracked to was damaged and warps, but again it only added to the feel of the track.”
“Paris is another track with a little story behind it. Lola was asked to write a song for a movie about when her parents ran away together many moons ago. She decided to retrace their footsteps through Paris for inspiration, to get inside of their minds. The theme of voyage and escape shifts throughout the album, and this track is no different. A love story about two people on the run, lost in love and freedom on the streets of Paris. It’s the only track on the album that we recorded at our studio in London. We wanted to keep it pure and simple, with instrumentally just two synths and a piano.”
“One of the oldest tracks on the album, dating back to our very first gig, it has taken on many incarnations through the ages. This track has travelled though life and time with us, just as the song suggests. It represents the force of spirit in all aspects of life, the awakening of the journeyman.”
“Every beginning must have an end, every journey must return to where it began. Forest Green is the return. We worked with the voice, layering overtones to create a soundscape that could lull one back to the axis mundi of their mind. Ready to depart again!”
Lost In Love & Fear is out now via Transcendental Grooves. Get the album on vinyl here and via iTunes here (opens in new tab)
Dark Moon play the London Fields Brewhouse on Wednesday November 30. See the events page here, and get your tickets here
And enter the hallowed realms of Dark Moon’s Facebook page here!