M Craft – Blood Moon

Every once in a while, you feel it.

It’s that rare moment, when music becomes something more than just another one of those entertaining distractions that helps us make it through the day.

It was somewhere around the fourth listen to M Craft’s third album Blood Moon that I got it; that sense that this is one of those special albums, one of those records that slowly overwhelms you with its beauty. In 2013, M Craft left his London base and moved to California before seeking the solitude of a cabin on the edge of the Mojave desert – it was here that Blood Moon was conceived and written.

Craft has spoken about the effects of the profound silence of isolation, how every little sound that might previously have gone unnoticed become like ‘splashes of neon’. The influence of silence, of the stark beauty of the desert landscape can be heard in every note played on Blood Moon.  There is a deep, meditative quality to these songs; gorgeous string arrangements, simple piano motifs and celestial harmonies combine to breathtaking effect.

You can hear the influence of Brian Wilson circa Pet Sounds, of Teenage Fanclub at their most mellow along with contemporaries such as Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. But these are mere echoes – Craft has conjured up something rare and wonderfully his own, a lovely alchemy of sound and melody.

Instrumental opener ‘New Horizons’ sets the tone; ambitious, cinematic, this is no low fi adventure. Craft marries traditional song-writing values with bold arrangements, yet somehow manages to create something intimate and imbued with a deep sense of serenity.

‘Chemical Trails’, ‘Me and My Shadow’ and especially the truly beautiful ‘Where go the Dreams’ are highlights but this is a record that is remarkably cohesive, an album in the truest sense. Even the inclusion of a sprinkling of instrumental pieces throughout does not break the spell; if anything, they are what bind the album together, giving the listener time to take stock and breathe in each and every quivering note.

You get the sense that Blood Moon represents a journey of self discovery for the songwriter; a search for meaning; by the time we get to final track ‘Love Is All’ he has found an answer in the stark, simple message of that songs title.

With Blood Moon, M Craft has created something rare and wonderful, a celestial beauty that is destined to be one of my favourite albums of 2016.

Truly special music.

 

(4.5 / 5)