“We are many, not just two of the same,” Wax Moon sing on their lush folk track “Keep On Walking”. “Those struggling around us, they keep on walking.”
This duo knows a little something about perseverance. Hello Morning, their debut album, is the result of 3+ years of writing and maturing, slowed by the pandemic, and created out of a joint energy. Paul Kimball and John Blatchford began singing together when the drummer of two of their former (and separate) bands asked them to sing at his wedding. Realizing what they had, the project Wax Moon was born.
Hello Morning is full of stripped-down acoustic tracks with delicate vocal harmonies. The titular “Hello Morning” opens with plucking and strings finding balance in slow introduction. “World of Trash” continues this with a hypnotic thrall in the floating atmospheric choices and richness of the violin. “In Control” exemplifies the poetry of folk music with lovely descriptions of the world and a focus on nostalgia: a topic that is endlessly mineable.
But lush folk is not the only genre Wax Moon can play in. There are moments of country twang that shine with a fresh energy. “Montana” is written in the second person to someone experiencing difficulties that make life tricky for those around them. “Mountain Road Girl” follows and is old-school in tone. The vocals take on a rural swell and the content is a classic tale of the road.
One theme that continues throughout the record is the sense of melancholy. “Feather From a Gun” is the longest song on the record and resonates with lyrics like, “Don’t you let it consume you, feel the warmth of its tongue, with the comfort and sweetness of oblivion.” “I Wanna Believe You” is a complete shift in sound to something that swirls, putting the acoustic plucking on hold and lingering. This track, in lyrics and tone, showcases the feeling of knowing you are being lied to.
Hello Morning closes with “Keep On Walking”, which has that persevering spirit that defines the record. Wax Moon showcase their range through harmonies and melancholy melodies. We can only wait and see what more time will bring.