On May 10, 2019, indie-rock outfit Cold Moon (featuring members of The Story So Far and Set Your Goals) released their debut EP Rising via Pure Noise Records. The EP is a six-track culmination of dreamy soundscapes, intricate and delicate guitar riffs, and a smooth layer of vocals that captivates the listener, giving them a pleasurable and emotional listening experience.

The band cites influences such as American Football and Wilco in their songwriting, but can be further compared to bands that were integral in the upbringing of emo in the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s, with bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral. The ability to create these layered and dreamy soundscapes might be a nod for some listeners to Turnover, creating an almost ethereal experience with these six songs.

The organic songwriting ability of this group can be felt throughout the record, as stated by vocalist Jack Sullivan:

“We didn’t know what was going to happen when we got in a room together, but it was a real safe, comfortable space,” Sullivan says. “It was a positive atmosphere for all of us, where we weren’t worried about making mistakes. We just let the music happen.”

There is a certain rawness that is exemplified in these songs as well, which may be in part due to the tracked-to-tape nature of the EP for a more vintage and classic feel. “Wake Up” the leading track on the EP, entrances the listener into a wave of shoegaze and dreamy guitar riffs with a perfect coating with the lyrics of Sullivan. The listener continues on this journey as the track builds into a rise and fall of crescendos and decrescendos before bringing everything full circle into an all-out post-rock jam to close out the song.

Lyrically, the songs as a whole tackle the subjects of change and vulnerability, and being able to face any signs of adversity and obstacles with a newfound courage. In some ways, it mirrors what Sullivan said about their early stages as a band. They didn’t know what was going to happen once they all started writing together but what came out was a truly beautiful piece of are that Cold Moon were ready to share with the world.

Another standout track from the six-song album, “Lessons” almost feels incredibly cinematic. The band does a great job of adding so many layers and melodic textures that all coincide and complement each other. “Lessons” is also another track on the album that ends in another post-rock jam, which brings an entirely different element to the band’s songwriting. What started out as a delicate and smooth track suddenly turns into a very intense yet beautiful ending to not just the song, but also the album as a whole. Yet just another element that this band is able to incorporate to take their songwriting to the next level.

Any indie-rock and post-rock fans will feel comfortable listening to this, offering them a breath of fresh air but also challenging them. There are so many influences present throughout this album that will have something for everyone. The sky is the limit for Cold Moon and we’re excited to see what the future has in store for them.