It lulls you in from the very start. Out of Milwaukee comes The New Red Moons‘ sophomore effort, Mesmérisme. On opening track, “Act of Creation”, a sing-songy falsetto precedes the rest of the piece, with mellow instrumentation soon joining. The introduction is both dreamy and oddly nostalgic. It ends on a single note carried by the vocals, which is then picked up with a new energy on the second track.
“Settle Down”, a foot-stomping folk piece, follows, bringing along with it harmonies and bluesy guitar. At points, the song has an almost Local Natives feel to it with aforementioned harmonies and acoustic touches.
The tone of the album shifts with “Why Did You Go?”, which – considering the title – feels appropriate. This forlorn love song is heartfelt and relatable; the vocals are so impassioned I ache with vocalist Joe McIlheran.
It continues with a diverse array of tracks, each tackling territory the song before it didn’t even try to touch. The jazziness and delicacy of “Tyrrhenian Seas” differs from the dark, slinkiness of “Cheating on You”. Each track has a classic, blues rock influence built into it, but the band brings with them a wide range of other influences, which has made for an awesome album.
After a roster of great tracks, the closing song is kissed with pop sensibilities and a classic rock vibe. The New Red Moons also get points for placing a track called “This Can’t Be the End” at, not surprisingly, the end.
Mesmérisme is a cohesive yet diverse album, filled with catchy, hook-filled tracks. Fresh vocals, great control, and pure tone took this album from being good to great. As gorgeous as it is online, it really shines on wax and is recommended ten fold.
Enjoy the album in its entirety below: