If you’re a fan of traditional country music, stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this album. Neon Moon are a phenomenal duo that give you all sorts of feelings while you listen to their music. In a vein with artists like Johnnyswim or Shovels and Rope, they’re extremely talented and poised to break out.
The opening track “If I Knew” is the song that won this review for the band. It’s really a quality song that has you moving side to side with that good ole country swing. Lead vocal from Noelle Bohannon is the trademark of the band’s sound and it really pops on this track. The lyrics are contemplative, while also being really easy to sing a long with.
“Smoke” has a real Nashville songwriter’s quality to it. The lines are precise and descriptive. This is not abstraction; it hits you right between the eyes with the difficulties of a successful relationship. It’s the kind of song that feels comfortable to listen to despite expressing deep, harrowing pain.
The following “Homewrecker” is a bit of a slow kickin’ song. What I mean by that is the song is full of piss and vinegar, but it’s up tempo and shouting. It’s more of a cutting, critical commentary about a woman of ill repute. “Homewrecker ain’t a good look” is a clever line that you could imagine some of the icons of the genre singing it. Not every day do you hear a timeless country song, but this one holds up.
“Already Broken” leads out with a beautiful fiddle part and a much more prayerful melody line. It’s sweet and probably my favorite on the album. There’s a little dichotomy between the bitter and the sweet on this one. It’s about living with a broken heart and if you make it through the whole track without shedding a tear, well then you just ain’t country.
“If We’re Being Honest” feels like a throwback for sure. It has a rootsy feeling that doesn’t necessarily match the Nashville sound of some of the other tracks. That said, it’s the song I’d love to hear from the middle of stage with the spotlight on them. The conversational, beautiful lyrics are just the kind of raw content you love to hear.
This is a stellar album. Go out and pick up and copy and wear it out, why don’t you. Instead of complaining about how they don’t make music like they used to, realize that these talented artists are doing that right now. And enjoy it.