Arthur Moon, the transcendental Brooklyn-based project, has released its expanded debut EP entitled Our Head. The band’s founder and song-smith Lora-Faye Ashuvud was born in Sweden and raised in Brooklyn. She studied contemporary art at Smith College in Northampton and later relocated back to NYC to pursue music. The remaining members of the six-piece band consists of Rachel Brotman (keyboard and banjo), Nick Lerman (guitar), Marty Fowler (bass), Dave Palazola (drum) and Aviva Jaye (back-up vocals).
Ashuvud has a unique way of creating the lyrics for her songs. She cuts out words from magazines and randomly combines them, thereby creating a contemplative and creative texture to her raw and hypnotic vocals. The first track and latest video from Our Head entitled “Room” showcases this unique process, with the addition of Lerman’s reverberating guitar and Brotman’s stark banjo creating a puzzling menagerie that the listener will relish deciphering.
The politically minded track “Wind Up,” also recently released by the band as a video directed by film maker Sam Jones, interlaces spoken phrases from a robotic male voice that comments on today’s daily hypocrisies combined with Ashuvud’s haunting vocals. The track’s repetitive chorus, “Oh but the mind is narrow, love little wind up bird” is illustrative of a multi-layered critique of today’s social and political landscape.
Tracks like “Bold Affair” and “Boxing” both use generous amounts of Palazola’s percussion which showcases various rhythms and time signatures that keep the listener actively engaged with the music. These tunes forces the audience to pay attention to the band’s musical details, a definite contrast from most contemporary popular music artists who do not exact that kind of scrutiny from their listeners.
Arthur Moon’s fifth and final track on their EP Our Head is simply named “The Beatles Cover.” The song is the band’s modernistic homage to The Beatles’ White Album classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Ashuvud and company took many liberties with their take on this Beatles gem, one of which was the omission of the title phrase “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the chorus of their rendition entirely. “The Beatles Cover” also has a surprising lack of guitar on a track that historically relies heavily on the instrument for it’s renowned lengthy solos. The band fills this void with multiple synthesizer overlays and Ashuvud’s vocals creating an original version that is almost as creative and unique as the band Arthur Moon itself.