Album Review of These Stars by Moon Bros.
Release Date: Jul 8, 2016
Record label: Western Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Folk, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
If anyone else was worried that Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Avett Brothers dehydrated “folk” for good, do relax. We can thank Chicago guitarist Matt Schneider for These Stars — his second album as Moon Bros. — a collection of eight ripe, deep original folk tunes that reclaim the genre. Dusty harmonica and wandering percussion over finger style guitar bring us to a porch at dusk or an attic stocked with beers.
The appeal of this lo-fi folk-influenced Americana album by Moon Bros lies predominantly on the dextrous skill of carpenter/musician Matt Schneider's guitar playing. Whether it's providing the foundation for his voice, or indulging on lengthy instrumental wig outs, it's the main calling card. There's shades of Gustavo Santalallo at times, and Nick Drake at others - he's an intimidatingly accomplished player.
Matt Schneider, a veteran of the Chicago post-rock community, is the man behind the curtain of Moon Bros., whose new album These Stars announces the arrival of a still-forming but promising artistic vision. Joined on the record by Dan Bitney (of Tortoise), Matt Lux (Iron & Wine), and Sam Wagster (Cairo Gang), Schneider has crafted a neo-Western folk-noir record. Like the lone, soaring bird on its cover, the songs on These Stars simultaneously evoke motion and isolation.