Newmoon - Nothing Hurts Forever ([PIAS])

Newmoon – Nothing Hurts Forever ([PIAS])

In 2016, Antwerp’s Newmoon announced themselves with a beautifully noisy, yet highly melodic, debut album, Space. This time around, the band (whose name is taken from an Elliot Smith album title), have returned with Nothing Hurts Forever, which is just as melodic but not quite so noisy.

In fact, Newmoon have taken an altogether poppier route on album number two. It’s all relative though; they are poppier in that they sound more akin to Ride‘s more commercial moments this time out than they sound like My Bloody Valentine.

‘Let It End’ somewhat ironically opens the album and is a colourful blast of tunefulness, upbeat in the sense of being a fast song, despite it’s less-than-upbeat lyrics: “Feel, I don’t exist / When you come back for this / Ruin and damage me”.

‘Raptured’ maintains the pace and brings to mind more recent exponents of shoegaze such as the brilliant Nothing or perhaps Whirr at their most chipper. The band members used to be in the hardcore punk band Midnight Souls but they were eager to adapt their sound to be more like the heroes of their youth: as frontman Bert Cannaerts explains “We grew up loving Joy Division and The Cure. But the music we made before was so much easier to play so we were unsure as to whether we had the ability to reflect this music that we really liked. Newmoon was our way of discovering whether we could fit in anywhere. We’re still discovering now. Everything is new.”

‘Collide Into Me’ follows another fast number, ‘In Harmony’ and is probably the most chilled song that the band have released so far, it’s shimmering guitars and laid back mood were potentially a Summer smash in an alternative universe.

The album is concise at nine tracks and doesn’t outstay its welcome – its accessibility borne of the fact that the songwriting is strong. It’s an easy album to listen to as a result – not in the traditional ‘easy listening’ sense, but more that the songs are very immediate.

‘Give Me Pain’ is another lyrically dark song wrapped in a sweet musical coating, and powers along a little like shoegaze contemporaries DIIV, while ‘In and Out and Over’ actually begins like ‘Wonderwall’ but Cannaerts’ desolate vocal sets the tune apart from the oft-played Oasis anthem. Perhaps the best song on the album is saved until last, the lovely ‘Only You’ being one of several songs to showcase the sympathetic production of Andy Savours (also known for his work with The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart and Dream Wife) – the songs are uncluttered and bright and the treatment allows each one the chance to shine.

Newmoon have returned with the sound of the shoegaze Summer, albeit unleashed into Autumn 2019!

Nothing Hurts Forever is out now on [PIAS]

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