HALF MOON RUN “Sun Leads Me On” (Glassnote)

r.i.y.l.: Here We Go Magic, Local Natives, Foals, Lord Huron
start with: 5, 8, 4, 3, 2, 13
FCC: 13

Full album streaming @ DIY


Produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Editors)

BBC1 premiered both “Turn Your Love” & “I Can’t Figure Out What’s Goin’ On“ on Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record In The World' feature

23 of 25 shows on the band’s next shows on their Fall Tour (Europe, Canada, US) are sold out!

Have performed at SXSW (“Top Band To See”), Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Reading Festivals, Canadian Music Week

In depth BBC1 Interview with Hue Stephens (recorded October 21): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p035vy3w

Red Bull Sessions: http://www.redbull.com/en/music/stories/1331753833880/half-moon-run-play-live-from-new-album-sun-leads-me-on=

Half Moon Run are a Montreal-based band that formed in 2010. The band members, who previously lived in Comox, British Columbia and in Ottawa, Ontario; are singer Devon Portielje on vocals, guitar and percussion; Conner Molander on vocals, guitar and keyboard; Dylan Phillips on vocals, drums and keyboard; and Isaac Symonds on vocals, percussions, mandolin, keyboard and guitar. The group is known for their heavy use of percussion, and playing multiple instruments during live performances.

Their debut album, Dark Eyes, was released in 2012 on Indica Records in Canada and was co-produced with Daniel Lagacé (The Dears) and Nygel Asselin (Mother Mother). The album built slowly and steadily making fans across the world with the band touring with Metric in North America, Patrick Watson in the UK and Europe, and playing festivals such as Iceland Airways and Inrocks Festival in Paris and a series of sold-out shows in Quebec.

The band caught the attention of Glassnote Records who signed the band and released Dark Eyes worldwide in 2013. Half Moon Run toured Australia for a month and then returned to the states to play SXSW and were deemed a “Top Band To See.” In all the band toured for 18 months promoting the album opening for the aforementioned Metric & Patrick Wilson as well as Mumford & Sons, City and Colour and Of Monsters and Men and is nearing a platinum certification in Canada.

The band's second release, Sun Leads Me On, was written after that 18 months of exhausting touring and adapting to life in the band. "We had this beautiful thing, this wonderful chance, but we were also working our way through a lot of darkness, losing lots of friends, struggles at home, losing our sense of home, trying to let the music guide us but having trouble even finding that," said multi-instrumentalist Dylan Phillips. "There was a lot of strife in it all, but at the same time the sun just kept pulling us forward, and we just kept pushing forward and trying to find beauty in what we do.”

The new material was written between their hometown of Montreal and a surfing getaway to California, though recording took place at Ontario's Bathouse Studios with acclaimed UK producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele). And while the new set of songs largely eschews the alt-folk melancholia of Dark Eyes, it does hear the band conveying concepts of beauty and honesty through unique instrumentation, classical arrangements and dark lyrics propelled by pulsating synths.


SCIENTISTS OF SOUND: “The band’s vastly sweeping rhythms and glittering guitars lift to dizzying heights.” 

CLASH: “A fiery, spirited return.” 

ROLLING STONE [FRANCE]: “It’s a pure wonder." **** 4 STARS

SOUND OF CONFUSION: “Shows the band growing in maturity & taking their music that bit further thanks to some nice innovation. It’s a step-up & lifts them above many of their contemporaries”. 

ANTHEM REVIEW: “Ingenious indie rock four-piece who steep their music in heavy, layered percussion & multiple melodies...sees their complex rhythms mixing with electronic flourishes & an all new anthemic sense of confidence.” 

GUARDIAN: “Gorgeous velvety drama.”

TRIPLE J: “Full of delicate guitar work, pulsating synths and striking lyrics.”

DIY: “Back in August, Half Moon Run spoke about how new album ‘Sun Leads Me On’ was about “finding our voice again”. In that respect, the follow up to debut ‘Dark Eyes’ passes the test with flying colours...This “voice” of Half Moon Run’s is diverse, displaying itself with fireworks in ‘I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On’ before dramatically shifting gears in ‘Turn Your Love.’”

WARRINGTON GUARDIAN: “Half Moon Run's Sun Leads Me On is the kind of album where you have to let the music speak for itself. With folk, indie and dreamy, atmospheric 70s rock influences among many others, the Canadian band's songs are hard to define. But listening to this eclectic collection of tracks one thing is certain – it is well worth your time. As finely crafted as it is original, Sun Leads Me On is the band's follow-up to their debut record, Dark Eyes, and it is anticipated that this will be the album to help them make their breakthrough in the UK. Among the highlights are “I Can't Figure Out What's Going On,” a simple song with an infectious tempo and orchestral elements. “Turn Your Love” throws piano and some electronic influences into the mix and builds in intensity and “Everybody Wants” is a gentle song about human nature and lessons learned. Meanwhile, with its finger-picking guitar, you can imagine “Devil May Care” being played around a campfire somewhere down south in America. There are so many musical styles and ideas bubbling away but the album never feels self indulgent or overwhelming. And despite its wealth of influences, Sun Leads Me On ties together to feel like a record that tells a story as a whole.”

EXCLAIM: “Dynamically, this album is pretty great, managing to manipulate the flow not just moment-to-moment during the songs, but track-to-track, trading huge, anthemic rock tunes for quiet introspective folk-tinged ballads.”

NATIONAL POST: “In today’s environment, selling 10,000 tickets to a string of shows by an unproven band is nearly unheard of. And yet, Montreal’s Half Moon Run accomplished the feat in their hometown before Sun Leads Me On, the follow up to their certified gold debut, Dark Eyes, was even released. It’s the latest in a string of successes for the collective, whose lush harmonies and intricate folk arrangements have shared European stages with the likes of Mumford and Sons, and whose heads appear ready to bear the crown of the Next Big Thing.”


11.16 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade SOLD OUT
11.19 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theater SOLD OUT
12.07 Victoria, BC Sugar Nightclub SOLD OUT
12.08 Vancouver, BC Imperial SOLD OUT
12.10 Calgary, AB The Gateway At Sait SOLD OUT
12.11 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room SOLD OUT
12.12 Saskatoon, SK Capitol Music Club
12.13 Winnipeg, MB Park Theatre SOLD OUT
12.16 London, ON Rum Runners
12.17 Toronto, ON Mod Club Theatre SOLD OUT
12.18 Kingston, ON The Grad Club SOLD OUT
12.19 Ottawa, ON Ritual SOLD OUT
01.14 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern
01.15 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
01.16 San Francisco, CA The Independent
01.19 West Hollywood, CA Troubadour
01.20 San Diego, CA Casbah
01.22 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
01.23 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
01.25 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater
01.26 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
01.27 Chicago, IL Subterranean
01.28 Columbus, OH The Basement
01.30 Albany, NY The Hollow
01.31 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
04.01 Montreal, QC Metropolis SOLD OUT
04.02 Montreal, QC Metropolis SOLD OUT
04.03 Montreal, QC Metropolis SOLD OUT
04.04 Montreal, QC Metropolis SOLD OUT