Local Music: Bury the Moon’s River & Rain

TextBury the Moon was founded by locals and longtime friends Nevan Doyle (guitar), Caelin Alba (bass), and Brian Blythe (vocals and drums) in 2011, rooting out their full lineup over the next two years with the addition of a second guitarist in Josh Bowman and Jorge “Tito” Bañuelos on piano. The sound produced by this quintet is an amalgamation of post/alt rock, folk, blues, and more that speaks directly to a large percentage of local music lovers that are perhaps as of yet underrepresented in the area.

Their debut record, the River & Rain EP, won’t be available for a few more days still, but what I can tell you is this: the advance copy I was treated to has rescued me from about a dozen boring car rides that’d have otherwise been given up to the same stale Pandora rotation. It’s also great in the shower, while cooking (or in my case, watching someone else cook), mixed in with some Pavement and Supergrass while lying on the living room floor, as background music to a long, frustrating session on the Atari 2600, while naked in the woods covered in peanut butter… pretty much whenever.

Coming out sounding like a well-seasoned band rather than relative newcomers, they nail the five-piece thing by performing incredibly cohesively as a unit: no inflation or redundancy in the arrangement. The compositions are rich and atmospheric, but posses a healthy hint of “garage” that keeps it human and more modern-alt-rocky than anything else. Not a lot of bands can pull off edge and ethereal, but they have it both ways. The production quality of the record adds to this by being very well done, but not plastic or pristine. As a former recording engineer and music lover I especially appreciate this—allowing nuance to exist without editing it into oblivion is a lost art, and it’s a great approach for what this band has to offer.

When speaking with Doyle I asked for a list of influences, but since I’ve decided that it really doesn’t matter. Each member clearly brings something unique to the table, and their sound is forged by a concoction of that. Like all great bands—and they are great—they are derivative of a multitude of things and reflect that in kind with a sound all their own. While the Bury the Moon “sound” is stylistically focused, they’re far from narrow, musically or lyrically, and I’m already looking forward to new recorded material.

Yes, you caught me: I really dig these folks and I absolutely loved the EP. If you like rock music of any kind, you’ll likely feel the same way. And if you’ve been teetering on the edge of the great chasm known as the local music scene, Bury the Moon is a hell of a gateway drug.

 The River & Rain EP lands on Nov. 23, so be sure to “Like” Bury the Moon on Facebook (facebook.com/BuryTheMoon) and check out their Bandcamp page (burythemoon.bandcamp.com) for a preview.

By Johnny Beaver