Lo Moon live review: a vulnerable, refreshing set

Jessica Morgan
Lo Moon: Phil Smithies

Almost everyone who has listened to Lo Moon’s self-titled debut album will have noted the record’s similarities to Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden, the 1986 release that influenced an entire wave of post-rock bands. And while there are similarities between frontmen Matt Lowell and Mark Hollis, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The LA-based ethereal pop trio has returned to the UK for their first headline tour, having previously supported London Grammar last year. Speaking to people at Lo Moon’s gig at Omeara, London on Wednesday, fans in their mid-to-late thirties were wide-eyed, about to relive their youth for 90 minutes. That’s the great thing about this band, they appeal to everyone.

From the electric build up to big crescendos of “This Is It” to Lowell’s vulnerable vocals on “The Right Thing,” outlining the gentle patience of a knowing lover, keen with desire but resistant for the relationship’s sake; Lowell’s vocals take centre stage throughout while bassist Cristanta Baker and guitarist Samuel Stewart’s craftsmanship marries everything together.

The brilliance of “Thorns” and its ability to send your body into an ASMR overdrive has even the most single person reliving a heartbreak that never occurred. “No one can love you the same / I’ll always want you / I’ll always want you this way” has you giving into a sublime limbo of giving into love with its late night-driving beat and glistening piano chords. Even the melancholic bedroom beats and suggestive lyrics in “Tried To Make You My Own” has the hairs on your neck stand when Lowell howls “I wanna learn you / All from the inside / So you won’t forget.”

Completely faultless, the trio captivated their audience with a beautiful rendition of Prefab Sprout’s “Bonny”, Lowell’s crescendo echoing around the silent room, the audience awe-struck. Lo Moon manage to make the track their own, with Stewart’s clever strumming and Baker’s soothing harmonies.

Of course, it would have been prudent for them to completely bypass “My Money”. While some have critiqued Lowell’s songwriting as ‘childish’, it’s quite refreshing to have an artist write in a way that is clever, catchy and memorable – the whole room was singing “Don’t marry me for my money / I’ve got this love for you honey / It’s baby blue” while dancing and swaying as though lost in a bubble of joy.

Returning for the encore, “Loveless” – the song that shot them to fame – was obviously next on the bill. A seven-minute romantic, atmospheric, yet haunting performance of the song skyrocketed the audience to a place of solitude, one that can only be experienced in a packed venue. And that's all you need after a hard day’s work.