Canadian Music Corner: Half Moon Run & Danny Michel

Half Moon Run
Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

To set the scene, infectious drumming fills the late July evening as dust stirs from beneath a dancing crowd by a river somewhere in the monotonous flats of Ontario. On stage, Half Moon Run pounds through a set confidently, but with a kind of humility that is never cliché.  This Montreal-based trio know they’re on to something and so does Glassnote Records, who signed the band to their its label in late 2012.  Glassnote adds Half Moon Run to their its impressive stable of artists that includes The Temper Trap, Mumford and Sons, Phoenix and Two Door Cinema Club.

Surfing on the sounds of their 2012 debut album, Dark Eyes, Half Moon Run has already managed opening slots on Patrick Watson and Metric tours.  The band has a busy 2013 in the works, starting the new year in Australia before returning to Canada to play some shows in Quebec.  Further, they have secured an invite to the prestigious South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Instrumentally, the album is laced with standout percussions and melodic finger-picking guitar work.  The use of electronic soundscapes gives the album a very polished sound.  Each track is intricately layered but not overdone.

Give “Full Circle,” Dark Eyes‘s opening track a spin.  Before you know it, you’ll have happily made your way past the mid-album slowdown, “Need It,” through to the slow synth on “21 Gun Salute.”

Danny Michel
Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

While Canada is not known for its warm-weather music, Danny Michel has created a sound that seems to fit that bill. A prolific musician since 1999 with 7 seven studio albums, an album of David Bowie covers, a live DVD, a live album and an album of acoustic versions of his own material, it’s safe to say Michel enjoys his craft.

That craft is making an eclectic mix of songs, with the central sound being his guitar — an acoustic six-string. He uses the guitar to wander into a variety of genres, with the odd twang-filled, folksy ballad, some finger picking over a bouncy beat or quiet chords. He does shift to electric occasionally, with bluesy-style tracks earlier in his career. Songs cover a variety of subject matter, from getting older to the bustle of the city and other relatable themes.

Recently he’s gotten involved with Belize, helping sponsor a school and recording his most recent album in the Central American country.

For a taster track, check out  “Feather, Fur and Fin” from the album of the same name.

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