Posts Tagged ‘Sean Solomon’

On their self-titled debut album, Moaning captured the frenetic energy and uncertainty of 2018 across its 10 tracks. It was a big year for the Los Angeles post-punk trio as they released their first LP on Sub Pop and played live with The Breeders, Ought, Preoccupations, Mothers, Lala Lala and others. The album opens with the punchy “Don’t Go,” which captures the fragility of a relationship and the fear of depending on something that you know won’t last forever (“This might work out somehow / Might as well see / Cause it’s right, right now / Even if it’s temporary”). They master the coupling of rumbling, feverish guitars with starkly-delivered deadpan vocals, mercurial synths and tumultuous drums—sounding composed one second and effectively disheveled the next. Their volatile guitars mirror the distressed, anxious tone of their lyrics—“Tired” and “Useless” follow the end of a relationship with the latter laced with hints of regret and the rehashing of memories to find out why it soured (“There’s nothing we can do / You had to go / If I loved you / I guess you’ll never know”). Frontman Sean Solomon is at his best on “Artificial”—with an imitation of someone rather pompous (“Pardon me / Everything’s so easy”) and a vigorously delivered, reality check of a chorus.

Moaning dive into their self-titled debut LP headfirst with dissonant lo-fi guitar stabs on “Don’t Go.” It’s a prophetic and noisy shit-kicker of an opening single that foreshadows the LA trio’s furious brand of thrashy post-punk. Singer Sean Solomon’s deep, melancholic voice anchors this sharply-felt album in all its emotional phases – from angry and abrasive, to knotty and experimental, to fiery and passionate. “Tired” represents the band at their most sweetly melodic, with sleek new wave synths matching pensive lyrics in which Solomon expresses feelings of emptiness and exhaustion: “It’s all gone/ It caught fire/ It’s all wrong/ And I’m so tired.”

Dark, numbing bass lines and stormy shoegaze aesthetics contribute to a sense of mounting panic and frustration on tracks like “Artificial” and “The Same.” Meanwhile, “For Now” shows off Moaning’s knack for arpeggio-soaked riffs and rich, towering choruses. The band proudly wears its Joy Division influences on its sleeve while also expanding on that well-worn sound with thrilling layers of reverb and gut-punching moments of angst and self-reflection. Moaning is a striking debut balancing ice-cold moods and cavernous sonics, and it positions the band alongside other modern greats of the post-punk genre.

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Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive post-punk trio comprised of LA DIY veterans, Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three started playing music together. Their impassioned debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.

Solomon, Stevenson, and MacKelvie initially met as teenagers while growing up in the San Fernando Valley, and immediately developed a kinship through Los Angeles’s local music scene. The three began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Moaning’s conception came when Solomon sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for “Don’t Go,” setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heart break to inform the band’s conflicted sound.

The band chose the moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held, and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream. The band’s homemade video for an early, home-recorded version of “The Same” caught the attention of Alex Newport, a seasoned engineer and producer who had previously worked with At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, and the Melvins. With Newport, Moaning began working on the tracks that would make up their self-titled release, employing a lush, open ended production quality that had never been at the band’s disposal. Tracks like “Artificial” stand out among the recordings, where Moaning used the studio’s recourses to take their frantic live arrangement and give it the intensity merited by Solomon’s lyrics. 

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As a whole, Moaning drifts from sentimental to catastrophic, hiding meek and introspective lyrics within powerful droning dance songs, giving sonic nods to some of the band’s musical heroes like, New Order, Broadcast, and Slowdive. The band’s youthful attitude is met with the weight of topics like loss, routine, and mental health, reflecting the anxiety towards the status quo that much of their generation faces today. Where many young bands take years to find their footing as writers and performers, Moaning has built up a confidence in sound and vision from the ten years of playing basements, bars, and ballrooms together in their previous projects. Yet, even with their polished exterior, Moaning continues to make the sacrifice of deeply personal anecdotes and emotions to their audience for the benefit of their craft.

Released March 2nd, 2018

The impassioned, self-titled debut from Los Angeles-band Moaning produced by Alex Newport.
Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after they met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into.

One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future. The trio began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for Don’t Go, setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heartbreak to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream

Moaning (Release Date: March 2nd, 2018)

Moaning - S/T

Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive post-punk trio comprised of LA DIY veterans, Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three started playing music together. Their impassioned debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.