Images and words by Steve Piper.
Promising to be one of the dreamiest selections of acoustic and electronic soundscapes York’s likely to hear this year, a packed audience wasn’t disappointed celebrating the debut release from York’s stand-out trip-hoppy, dark-poppy LUUNA, hosted by Young Thugs Records and Please Please You at The Crescent.
Amy May Ellis opened alongside a double-bassist, debuting a gradually expanding evolution of her folky singer-songwriter sound. With a uniquely heartfelt and huge vocal performance she set a perfect pace for the audience who spread out on the floor and got comfy. The vibe stayed perfect through Ola Schmidt’s set; a densely layered vocal performance with an intensely modern-Scandinavian feel to it.
As LUUNA came to the stage, sporting a four piece line-up adding bass and live drums, the audience was back on its feet and up to the front of the stage. For a band dripping with perfectly produced, dreamy electronica-pop recordings, everyone who has heard them know LUUNA deliver sublime live performances with a stack of energy.
Unshackling percussionist Jonny from a sampler and unleashing him on a full kit was that missing element you didn’t even realise was missing; there’s just so much more going on all of a sudden. Guitarist Jared has something for his contortions to dance with and vocalist Yoshika’s tempted out from behind her keyboard to bust a few moves. Just behind her bassist/keyboardist Fod (who played on the band’s stunning De Grey Room Sessions) regularly breaks into a wide grin from under his gnome-like yellow hat; they sound absolutely mint.
Driving through the EP songs Remedy, Soap and Big Fat Something the set builds and drops and builds again towards the wildly tumbling tribal beat of finale Animal (a rumoured next release). It times perfectly with crescendos in the wall-sized film projections of Metropolis and The Holy Mountain.
From the second you walked into the room, decorated in projections, fairy lights and specially brought in stage lighting, the night had that feel of something a bit special. But it’s only in that moment of silence when it ends that you realise; even with your head stuck in an intensity within the music that can only come from the energy the band all put into it, your body is chilling on a cloud somewhere in a terrycloth onesie and it feels great.
LUUNA have just released the stunning Moonflower EP on York’s Young Thugs Records, are spinning with increasing regularity on BBC Radio 1 and 6, and look out for the feature interview with them in the upcoming print edition of One&Other magazine. You can order the EP online by clicking below.BUY HERE