They drove into the NPR garage crammed into an extended cargo van, 9 feet tall, instruments and luggage packed all the way to the ceiling. They didn't use all of that gear, but even on this mainly acoustic, stripped-down set, Lo Moon radiated a signature sound — intimate and demonstrative, haunting yet uplifting, an old-fashioned rock beat under glimmering guitar and keys, overlaid with beautiful, textured vocals.
Lead singer and instrumentalist Matt Lowell says this journey began 5 1/2 years ago with "Loveless," the last song in this set. He created the demo version in a basement studio in New York, moved to Los Angeles and then linked up with Crisanta Baker (guitar, bass, keyboards and backing vocals) and multi-instrumentalist and principal guitarist Sam Stewart. They spent months in a backyard shed with gear and guitars everywhere. There they learned to feed off each other, sometimes jamming on two-chord drones for six hours straight without even saying a word. With the lights turned down, it was a comfortable space for the band to catch its artistic wind and create a celestial sound.
Here too at the Tiny Desk, Lo Moon is at ease, mesmerizing the audience with hooks loaded with what they call "bunches of atmospheres" and a gorgeous blend of soothing harmonies, pulsing rhythms and soaring melodies.
"This Is It"
Matt Lowell, Samuel Stewart, Crisanta Baker, Sterling Laws
Producers: Suraya Mohamed, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Alyse Young, Bronson Arcuri; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Christina Ascani/NPR
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