E.P. Review: Neon Moon – 6:53

A couple of years back Americana duo Neon Moon recorded a song a week for a year, uploading them to YouTube as Our 52 Songs. These videos show husband and wife duo Noelle and Josh Bohannon singing and strumming some great classic country inspired songs, the best of which have now been recorded on this E.P. called 6:53

Opening country shuffle If I Knew is a song about what happens when your worst half disappears out drinking every night. She should be long gone from this relationship but like so many women before her she’s reluctantly standing by her man. Drinking and doomed romance aren’t good for the health but at least you always get a song or two from your vices. This is a waltz, aided perfectly by a fiddle, reminding me why the violin is the most missed instrument on the country charts.

The theme of distance in a relationship is continued on the next track, where trying to reach out and connect with someone is like catching Smoke. This is a rich sounding song with traditional instrumentation, and Noelle’s powerful vocals really sell the pain of trying to love this ghost of a man.

Vintage sounding Homewrecker is the story of a woman who has been trying to take everyone’s men. It’s catchy and a little bit cruel but hey we all know these Jolene-types and sometimes you do just want to punch them in the face. Country music has a history of some classic feisty female fighting songs like Fist City, Only Prettier etc and recently albums by Angaleena Presley and Sunny Sweeney have also included some brutal little sass attacks on other women. There’s a part of me that thinks we probably shouldn’t be singing bitchy songs like this anymore as the sisterhood needs to support each other but when they’re as good as this you have to put feminism aside and just enjoy the tune.

Already Broken is a ballad with enough emotion that it could be the soundtrack to a Nashville break up scene (hell it sounds a lot better than most of the songs that have been on the show lately). If the Dixie Chicks ever get around to recording a new album any of the songs on this EP would suit them but Something in the Water really feels like it would slot perfectly into their repertoire. This song tells the story of the sufferings of small town people, it’s Merry Go Round with a more sinister edge.

The final track, If We’re Being Honest was recorded after their 52 project to finish off the EP (hence the 53 in the title) and is in many ways a commentary on the songs that have come before. This is a songwriters song, telling the listener of the sacrifices made in the hope of success and featuring a nice bit of whistling and harmonica in the background. The band have found themselves to ‘slinging drinks at the bar at the Opry hotel‘ which is heartbreaking really when they should be on the stage. The future is uncertain for any artist – all you can do is keep signing for the sake of the song, the rest is in the stars.

Still it would be nice to see a band like Neon Moon gain more recognition for their solid country songwriting. As listeners all we can do is keep seeking out the talent and support them as best as we can. Listen & buy here:

https://neonmoonmusic.bandcamp.com/album/6-53

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