Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Blue Moon Rising (Sour Mash)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Blue Moon Rising (Sour Mash)


Blue Moon Rising is the last in the series of the three EPs, following Black Star Dancing and This Is The Place.

The release schedule of the three EPs has played into the streaming pre-save culture, building hype and having multiple touchpoints with his audience – it is smart marketing. We’re not in a ‘sell two singles, follow them with the album, put out a third single for luck’ territory anymore.

The shift to a dancier musical route has always been something Noel has teased fans with, be it through Chemical Brothers collaborations or the latter Oasis remixes. He’s had the determination to follow through with it unconcerned with the reaction, overtly anyway.

The thing is, it works. Noel’s brand of songwriting always has been, and still is, suited to crafting perfect pop. Whether it’s delivered through Orange amps or studio production, he can turn his artistry to one or the other.

Noel’s voice lends itself to a dancier vibe; it switches from stadium rock God to fragile songwriter in a heartbeat, and that has made his recent material compelling.

Lyrically, the verses of ‘Blue Moon Rising’ convey a feeling of uncertainty are set to a brooding keys and bass combo: “The deeper that you get/The more that you’ll regret/Living on the edge of the night.”

The chorus, with its mirrored ascending and descending vocal is very catchy and is followed by a break featuring vocal zips produced to be reminiscent of ‘Hounds of Love’. You wait for the big stereotypical reveal to arrive, but refreshingly it doesn’t.

‘Wandering Star’, released over Christmas 2019, could quite happily sit on Don’t Believe The Truth or Dig Out Your Soul. It’s full of hope and longing for a better day.

One big evolution of Noel’s writing has been the Inclusion of regular female vocals. They’ve added another dimension to how he constructs melodic layers which opens up this track in particular.

Circulated online in demo format almost ten years ago, ‘Come On Outside’ has finally made its way onto a record. made We know Noel takes his time to get his songs right (see ‘Stop The Clocks’, ‘Revolution Song’ and ‘Lock All The Doors’ as cases in point) and there’s nothing wrong with letting a song mature. This is classic Noel Gallagher with his contemporary approach allowing the harsher guitar tones to flourish with brighter tonality.

‘Blue Moon Rising (The Reflex Version)’ leans heavily on those vocal zips to introduce the track. The darker bass melody and production is very Ian Brown, circa ‘Dolphins Were Monkeys’. At seven and a half minutes it is designed to be an indie dance floor filler – like a lot of the longer remixes that have supported Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ output, it’s absorbing and flies by.

‘Blue Moon Rising (7” Mix)’ is 34 seconds shorter than the original version and gives the track a greater urgency. Most of the time is cut from the introduction and breaks which means the song whizzes by at breakneck speed.

Blue Moon Rising is an EP you can comfortably spin on repeat and it will be interesting to see what happens next. Will Noel persue this more electronic path or revert to rock and roll? Finding out will be fascinating.

Blue Moon Rising is available from 6th March on Sour Mash.

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