It’s not often you hear a song by a new band that really hits you in the sonic sweet-spot. One that you want to play over and over again until you can figure out what makes it so good. A song that you also want to ration, so that it keeps a bit of its freshness and mystery.
Sweating Gold by HONEYMOAN was on my Spotify Release Radar list back in June 2019. A fragile indie guitar riff, fuzz bass, then blissed-out vocals. Smart dynamics, modern production FX and gloss. Beguiling variety, danceable, builds to an exciting climax …
Sweating Gold was great, but it turned out HONEYMOAN had another song that was even better.
Listening to ‘We’ is like popping different sweets in your mouth, one after the other, until the mixture creates flavours you didn’t know existed, and the sugar rush makes you grin like an idiot and dance round the room. A slouching Tame Impala bassline and crisp retro drum groove is soon joined by a languid Smiths-y guitar riff. When the vocals arrive ‘We’ sounds like a different song, something by Dua Lipa or some modern R’n’B singer. Then a keyboard line sprinkles a little more space dust onto this gorgeous confection – echos of Why? by Carly Simon. After 2 minutes this mini symphony goes on a psychedelic trip, with swooping McCartney-esque bass runs, shrill fuzz guitar, washes of synth and a foray into the unexpected …
Other people obviously loved this song too because back then ‘We’ already had nearly 1 million listens on Spotify.
This from a band that no publicity, zero internet presence, no photos or blurb on Spotify. HONEYMOAN became more alluring and mysterious for the lack of social media presence. Was this part of their masterplan?
It turns out HONEYMOAN came from Cape Town, South Africa and had only just got going. They started in 2017 as a “just for fun” jam session with various members of local alternative / indie / psych rock bands. ‘We’ contains a sample of “Inu Mbi Awon Ota Lasan” by Nigerian musician Alhadji Ayinla Omowura & His Apala Group from the album Owo Tuntun (1977). Other influences range from psychedelia, indie, dream pop and shoegaze; their music has been compared to Tame Impala, Khruangbin and St. Vincent.
HONEYMOAN now consists of Alison Rachel (vocals), Skye MacInnes (guitar), Josh Berry (bass) and Kenan Tatt (drums). To date, they have released 3 EPs and last year toured Europe and sold out a short tour of small venues in the UK, where they have signed to the Communion Records label.
HONEYMOAN’s vision is “to write modern, original alternative pop that is fun, fresh, and exciting; exploring common trials of youth / early adulthood, love, lust and pursuing one’s creative passions at all cost, despite the realities of living under Capitalism … We enjoy being genre nonconforming, it helps us reach a wider audience as well allowing us to explore more sounds.”
HONEYMOAN’s best of the rest:
Too Much – great fuzz bass solo
(All that I need is connectivity / Got a date with my screen / Really living the dream)