The Moondoggies


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2010, Hardly Art

There is something inherently calming about large bodies of water. In times of emotional duress, standing at the edge of an ocean watching the waves roll in and out centers the spirit in a way that standing on terra firma cannot. Kevin Murphy (lead vocals, guitar) chose to title the Moondoggies' new album Tidelands in part because of a remote area outside his old stomping grounds of Ketchikan, Alaska where he used to go to escape from civilization. More importantly, as the sly recurring themes of water throughout the Seattle quartet's second full-length underscore, these are songs crafted to provide solace, sense, and cause for celebration in a world fraught with turmoil. Recorded in the winter months bridging 2009 and 2010, the record has a more unified feel than its predecessor (songs deemed worthwhile - but inappropriate for inclusion on Tidelands - found a home on the EP You'll Find No Answers Here). The new album was produced and recorded by the band and Erik Blood (who also oversaw the making of their debut), with additional production input from Seattle stalwarts Phil Ek and Kurt Bloch. The quartet experimented and took risks during this process: multiple reads on the same song were tried, with various vocal and instrumental arrangements taken up and abandoned until the right balance was struck. While "Empress of the North" appears on Tidelands as a hushed acoustic ballad consisting entirely of acoustic guitar and pained, longing vocals, Blood convinced the guys to record an additional, vintage soul-style rendition of the tune. Bloch, meanwhile, recorded the quartet live-in-studio to capture the feel of their spirited live shows. Though they sprang from Seattle's vibrant roots music scene, the Moondoggies are a band schooled in much more than the common touchstones of the current Americana movement; there are no intentions of treading water stylistically here. It's precisely this creative stretching that has resulted in the bands most artistic step forward to date: Tidelands.


Disc 1
1 It's a Shame, It's a Pity
2 Tidelands
3 What Took so Long
4 Uncertain
5 Empress of the North
6 Lead Me On
7 Down the Well
8 Can't Be in the Middle
9 We Can't All Be Blessed
10 Lot of People on My Mind

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