After playing a series of house parties using whimsical handles like Rabbit Kingdom, Peppermint Majesty and Cookie Mask, Poor Moon finally settled on a name taken from an old Canned Heat song. The band consists of lead vocalist/principle songwriter Christian Wargo (Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls), Casey Wescott (Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls) and brothers Ian and Peter Murray. Poor Moon began in the form of a long distance collaboration when Christian and Casey were touring the world with Fleet Foxes and the Murray brothers were living in the Bay Area, gigging as The Christmas Cards.
They are joined by Jonas Haskins on bass and Jason Merculief who is playing a floor tom and percussion.
The contribution of their audio engineer, Jared Hankins—who came to the session armed with two road cases of reverb units and other assorted mysterious electronic boxes—needs to be pointed out. The delicate, echo-drenched gossamer that you hear on this recording is not, I repeat, not what was audible to the naked ear in the studio. Each member of the band was plugged directly into the soundboard (no amps, they wouldn’t have fit!) and then into Jared’s gear. Only he knew what the actual sound was like during the recording as he had the only headphones that were plugged into the sound board. Poor Moon’s Christian Wargo told me “Jared brings so much to live sound I wouldn’t consider letting anyone else twist knobs for me. I write music taking into consideration what Jared can do to it live. What he brings to the table really affects the whole experience. A lot!”
In the video below, the six members of Poor Moon and their instruments, audio wizard Jared Hankins, plus our own crew crammed into our bus-housed “TV studio” at SXSW (which was about the size of a large elevator). The songs are “Phantom Light,” “Clouds Below” and “Come Home.”
Poor Moon’s debut EP, Illusion, is due out March 27th. Poor Moon is currently touring with Lost in the Trees.