To The Moon is a three piece instrumental band from Baltimore, MD. Travel Music of 2017 will be their second release, and first with the current lineup. The album opens with space and mystery, building to a forward sound driven by the drums and bass. The minimalist sound lends to an atmosphere for clarity; each player is heard unmistakably, and contributes something invaluable to the sound. The songs are curious and experimental, adventurous and bold.
There is something on the edge of heaviness in songs like “Blood Orange,” and in the title track. These march at a steady, driving pace, determined to get some mission accomplished- possibly incognito. Some tracks could be in scenes of a modern day spy or action movie where the characters are definitely wearing sunglasses. Travel Music is goofy at times and very straightforward. But the guitar effects and edgy bass lines contain subtle dark undertones throughout, hinting at something thrilling and dangerous that is just beneath the surface. “Aliceanna” layers that with guitar and bass harmonies, and a screaming guitar solo that is so right.
Listen here: http://tothemoonband.com/
Tristan Welch is an ambient, free jazz drone project from Washington, D.C. I have never heard any kind of music like this before. It’s always an exciting feeling of discovery, to open your ears and mind to a new sound. People sometimes can become jaded, feeling that with all the songs already written, it’s not worth going out of one’s comfort zone. Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima have developed a sound that’s hard to stop listening to. It’s bold, creative and at times mesmerizing. Ron Oshima plays jazz inspired Saxophone over the dark and menacing guitar by Tristan Welch. The languid soundscapes provided by Tristan add more than just a background. He is holding the rhythm, building the foundation of everything boundlessly.
Something that stands out right away, before the music even starts is that this release only has three songs. Not out of the ordinary for an EP, but it’s the length that caught my attention. Each song lasting somewhere between 11-14 minutes. It made me curious, and by the time I had moved from “God,” to “Bless”, I felt very relaxed. “Bless” has a more relaxed feeling than the first track (God). This album is all about movement. The way the songs move in key, the way the saxophone moves in step while being played with professionalism and unreserved skill.
As the album closes with the serene aloof patterns only the key of A can give, I realized something else. This music makes me think about my life. About my own creativity, and how to be brave in composition. Tristan Welch & Ron Oshima have made an album that has a broad appeal. God Bless America, by the time I had moved all the way to the end left me feeling halcyon and placid. It’s an experience worth having.
Listen here: https://tristanwelch.bandcamp.com/