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Moriarty - Gee Wiz But This Is A Lonesome Town


Review by Hedley Jackson

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

AN interestingly theatrical endeavour from Moriarty that combines folk, country and experimental otherworldliness is their debut album, Gee Wiz But This Is A Lonesome Town. A variety of sounds entwined with luscious vocals give this five-piece band a fascinating edge.

Opening single Private Lilly is an upbeat jaunt, using a cocktail of instruments, which remains mesmerising throughout it’s crooked and croaky form. The smooth and rich voice of Rosemary Moriarty cuts through the soul with it’s anachronistic air. Sounding as though she were recorded nearly a decade ago, the lead vocalist lifts the songs up another level.

Quivering harmonicas over dancing tunes give the songs a folk tinge, while the concoction of other instruments seem to ramble on with a life of their own. At times the music’s starting and stopping loses all momentum and feels flat, giving the French outfit’s laissez-faire mentality a downside.

As far from pop music as is possible in this age, Moriarty delve deeper into a fantasy world with every stanza. They look and sound as though they were created in a dream that soothes and baffles.

Smooth, metallic guitar work is well thought out on songs like Cottonflower and Jimmy, while the drums are unvaried throughout. The bands use of interesting sounds, to support the story being portrayed in the lyrics, are various and bizarre, including bicycle bells and mimicked dog-barks.

Whiteman’s Ballad is a country-blues song with a churning string accompaniment and a dual vocal that gives the band a more aggressive kick. While Tagono-Ura is a far more laid-back, ambient song that compliments the standout vocals of Rosemary.

Overall, Moriarty are an enlighteningly different band with lots of intriguing and interesting sounds. The vocals of Rosemary Moriarty are sweet sounding against the rough, slightly messy backdrop of the band’s music, but their varying sound will entertain for a long while hence.

Download Picks: Jimmy, Private Lilly, Whiteman’s Ballad, Tagono-Ura, Fireday, Jaywalker (Song For Beryl)

Track Listing:

  1. Jimmy
  2. Loveliness
  3. Private Lilly
  4. Motel
  5. Animals Can’t Laugh
  6. (…)
  7. Cottonflower
  8. Whiteman’s Ballad
  9. Tagono-Ura
  10. Fireday
  11. Oshkosh Bend
  12. Jaywalker (Song for Beryl)