Friday, November 13, 2015

Introducing :: MOSES

Words: Izzy B

No, not the Biblical Moses, but a six-piece ambient psych-sounding crew who hail from Wellington, New Zealand, and who have spent the last year since forming releasing several singles and steadily building up their sound and profile in Australasia.

Their first single, 'Something Make Me Wanna Get High', was uploaded to Bandcamp in March, and gives an early taste of the band's musical leanings.

The five native Kiwis plus Brit boy guitarist Teyler Hayes (originally from Peterborough) formed in the latter part of 2014 and deciding on the direction they wanted to take was apparently, fairly easy as they told us when we had a few words with them.

"We all love 60s pop, psych, and 70s soft rock and post-punk, so I think we just wanted to channel as much of that and make it as unique as possible. I think neo-psychedelia interprets psychedelia in a flamboyant way a lot of the time - which is fine - but I think we wanted to do something that was a bit more understated and casual, to hold back in terms of tempo and be quite ambiguous. The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Jesus and Mary Chain are two of our biggest influences, so I guess that's where that philosophy comes from."

They had already been exploring this sound during the individual members' times with other bands.

"Teyler, Nathan and Daniel used to play in sitar dance band Love You To and gig regularly with Anthony's then band The Blue Onesies, who were very active on the Wellington scene a few years ago. As those bands fell apart we were all looking for new projects and MOSES basically started as a platform for releasing songs we had been storing up without a project to play them with.

"Teyler and Louisa briefly played in a folk band together. The addition of Louisa has helped give us something unique and distinctive. She chugs along and creates interesting atmospheres that weave between the guitars. I don't think I've really heard saxophone used in this way before so I think that's one of our biggest assets. Our drummer Scott has also been a very active musician in NZ, playing in bands here for years. He and Anthony have toured together regularly in various projects over the past few years so getting him on board was great."

The first songs MOSES produced and featured on their debut three-track EP 'MOSES1', which was released in July and featured 'Opium', 'Because You Never Know' and 'Mourn', and led to them being signed by Half A Cow Records, and embarking on a national tour.

Currently the band are gearing up for the release of their new single, 'Keep Your Heart Beating', a launch show in Wellington on November 27 at MOON1, and touring New Zealand early next year. A second EP release is also on the cards.

"It has taken a while to build a cohesive sound, but I think the latest single is a good indication of the direction we're going, and from the first note played is very distinctive."

'Keep Your Heart Beating' - out this werk - is the first track from their proposed sophomore EP, and sees MOSES immerse themselves in trance-inducing psych drone waves of fuzzy reverb, pinned with post-punk/shoegaze elements. The combination of multi-textured instrumentation, and the use of Louisa Nicklin's sax, all lending a new and invigorating flavour to the genre(s), however.

MOSES are: Nathan Wightman (guitar), Daniel Wylie (lead guitar), Anthony Lander (bass, vocals), Scott Hakkaart (drums), Louisa Nicklin (saxophone), Teyler Hayes (vocals, guitar, tambourine).


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