Half Moon Run
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Half Moon Run

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Culture Briefs - Half Moon howl - The McGill Daily"

Culture Briefs
Half Moon howl

By Nicholas Jeffers
Published: 10/5/10

Half Moon Run’s Facebook page states that the band was “born tied to walls of a sweaty room in Montreal’s Mile End district.” When asked about their true origins, the band joked that they found each other through online dating. Whatever the circumstances surrounding their initial union, the members of Half Moon Run – Devon Dunn, Conner Molander, and Dylan Phillips – have been making music together since October 2009, and they’re serious about it.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s not for lack talent or artistic drive. On the topic of their attitudes regarding self-promotion, the band says they “hope to generate interest mostly through performance.”

“Perhaps it’s a romantic notion,” the band confessed, “but we think that music can become successful because of its quality rather than some kind of image.” Granted, using this approach to gain a fan-base may take some time, but it seems to be working. A small tour of Ontario in early September and a recent show in Montreal yielded overwhelmingly positive responses, marked by robust sales of Half Moon Run’s self-titled EP.

The trio characterizes their sound as “fusing restless elements of indie with the honest part of warm electronica.” Each of the multi-instrumentalist members has had a lifelong interest in music, but the group insists that while their diverse musical backgrounds factor heavily into who they are as individuals, when they come together they can transcend their personal histories and create something truly original. In fact, it is this idea – the notion of a unique whole emerging as something greater than its constituent parts – from which the group derives its name: “It refers to a salmon run on Canada’s northwest coast. When they swim upriver to lay eggs they are drawn to that location by the moon...there seemed to be something relevant to us in the way all these pieces mysteriously come together for a common purpose.” - The McGill Daily

"The names that set the scene"

The names thatset the scene

From folk to pop to metal, Montreal musicians and audiences havea busy year ahead

By MARK LEPAGE, FreelanceJanuary 29, 2011

Malajube -whose success has spread well beyond Montreal -has a new disc on the way in April.

We come from the land of the ice and snow -most of us. Some do not. And some come from even snowier, icier lands.

These are all ingredients worth considering as we look toward another year of creativity on the local music scene, with many bands now fully qualifying as "veteran," some new-ish blood, and the enduring question: Where do they all keep coming from?

Well, it cropped up in a chat with Chromeo's Patrick Gemayel, who was asked about the "Montreal scene."

"It's hard to say, man. It's a new word that came up in the last four years, that people have a name for Montreal and we supposedly have a scene." He continued on the subject of Arcade Fire ( "a lot of them moved here") before his closing statement that "here" is "the last place in North America that has cheap rents."

The last place worth living that does, anyway. And as we -some of us - congratulate our magical, tragical, enduringly romantical hometown, and therefore ourselves, for undiminished creative mojo, it's worth reminding that the list of bands whose membership is wholly or partially transplanted - Hollerado, Arcade Fire, Stars, Young Galaxy, Braids and many others - is long.

Those drawn here bring their own essential elements to an immigrant city and fold them into a threefold chemical reaction between properties -English Montreal, French Montreal, Auslander -that triggers the alchemy we call a local scene.

American Devices: Montreal's

-and the world's - longest-running indie post-punk band will be "gigging up and down the Main as usual," says founding member Rick Trembles, but also releasing five new recordings finished in December. Trembles will work on the soundtrack to Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare's latest Montreal-made film, The Blood Shed (a. k.a. Main Attraction), and a manuscript chronicling "how the American Devices have intertwined with my 'post-underground' comix and movies since the '70s," Trembles says. Gawdspeed.

Arcade Fire: Globe-conquering as ever, the world's biggest and best indie band will play, play, play across the planetary chessboard, showcasing at the Grammys Feb. 13 and the Brit Awards Feb. 15, headlining Coachella on April 16, and hitting fests in Austria, Italy and Spain. Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze's short film Scenes from The Suburbs will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival next month. Asexuals: Following last year's triumphant reunion show in Cabaret Juste pour rire, the seminal Montreal punk band re-reunites for two shows in Toronto in March. Album, anyone?

The Besnard Lakes: Olga

Goreas reports that the oceanic band has scored Audrey Fouche's Quebecproduced film Memories Corner, set in Japan, on the heels of their soundtrack to the NFB's Welcome to Pine Point -"a town in the Northwest Territories that was literally removed from Canada's map in the late '80s." Still in film mode, Goreas and Jace Lasek spent last July on the South Nahanni River with filmmakers for a series called The National Parks Project, celebrating 100 years of Canada's national parks. They'll also play -Lee's Palace in Toronto tonight, then off to Australia and, later, China.

Braids: Formerly Neighbourhood Council, and formerly of Calgary, their art-pop is lavish, inventive, oneiric and addictive, and Native Speaker is drawing raves from the Times and Spin. The album was launched last week at La Sala Rossa, and the quartet will tour everywhere from Quebec City to Dallas through April.

Bran Van 3000: Will play

festivals all summer in support of their fourth album, last autumn's The Garden.

Crabe: Pushing the noble Montreal lo-fiaggro-duo tradition way out there, the Valleyfield band supports its Ero Gaki album with a U.S. tour, possibly including the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin.

The Dears: Following last autumn's full-album performance at Pop Montreal, Degeneration Street lands Feb. 15. Guitarist Patrick Krief says, "It's gotta be the best Dears record yet, too. It really feels like a greatest-hits record. It's the first Dears record I got to write for, and I'm pretty damn proud of it. The production is immaculate, the songs are epic, Murray (Lightburn)'s vocals are raging and better than ever." The free launch is Feb. 14 at La Sala Rossa, followed by a U.S. tour down to SXSW in March.

Devil Eyes: The angry shredders (Rip My Heart Out -great song) celebrate their fifth anniversary Feb. 11 at Casa del Popolo, "and then we're going to woodshed for a while, writing and recording a new full-length during the summer with plans to tour the U.K., France and Benelux in fall."

Elephant Stone: The lush, sitarified power-pop band will spend the year writing/ demoing a - Montreal Gazette

"CMW 2011 Reviews: Wednesday, March 9 - Torontoist"

Half Moon Run
Seen at: Drake Underground CMF! Showcase, 9 p.m.

We're not sure why exactly we were planning on briefly popping in at the Drake Underground, catching a few songs by Half Moon Run, and then heading back out into the rainy yonder to catch more of the evening's musical offerings. Maybe it was because they were one of the first bands up and we were itching for more, maybe it was because we had already heard of one too many male three-piece indie/pop/alternative bands playing the festival, or maybe it was because they looked a little too much like three teens skipping gym class to jam in their bedroom. But whatever the reasons, they're forgotten now. They meshed their three-part harmonies with skill beyond their years, and managed to blend their relatively numerous instruments (three guitars, two drums, two keyboards, and two laptops for just the three of them) with other technical elements to create a dreamy yet energizing show. They still seemed like three best friends jamming in their bedroom, but in the best way possible. - Torontoist

"Meet You at the Show | Montreal Concert Listings and Reviews » Alcoholic Faith Mission – Casa Del Popolo – 10.03.11"

Opening up the night was Montreal’s own Half Moon Run and I’m a little embarrassed to say this this was my first time even hearing of these guys. The reason I’m embarrassed is because I believe to have a pretty good grasp of what’s going on musically in this city and these guys weren’t even on my radar until Thursday night. I wouldn’t have cared as much if they didn’t blow me away like they did. Comfortably seated at the bar, I went from casually listening to this unknown opening band, to being completely wrapped up in their performance in a matter of minutes. Their sound was kind of tough to describe. The Radiohead influence is obvious, but there is so much more to these guys; like a pervasive soulfulness that emerges every time lead singer Devon Dunn-Portielje opens his mouth and little flourishes of extremely catchy synth pop here and there. This 3-piece is one of the most intriguing Montreal acts I have heard in a long time and I expect they won’t stay under the radar for very much longer. They played all the songs from their debut self-titled EP (that was selling like hot-cakes at the back) along with a few tracks that weren’t, and pretty much won over the entire venue by the end of their set. - Meet you At the Show

"Youth sold on fest's sound - Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest review"

"Blues rock duo The Black Keys, CCR singer and songwriter John Fogerty and blues guitar legend Buddy Guy (with his 12-year-old protege Quinn Sullivan) were the outstanding shows I saw this year. Cage The Elephant singer Matthew Shultz’s manic performance and marathon crowd-surfing made for the best individual performance, while the biggest buzz around the festival was for Montreal trio Half Moon Run." - Ottawa Sun

"Half Moon Run gives it their all | Forget The Box (Part 2)"

Half Moon Run gives it their all | Forget The
samedi 8 octobre 2011, 5:04 ap.m.
Half Moon Run Pt.2

By the end of the set, as I sat silently on their jam space’s sunken couch, I was genuinely blown away. Anyone who’s
experienced a Half Moon Run performance can attest to the fact that it’s never been a question of talent and definitely
never a question of whether they deserved success. All the pieces are in place. But in a volatile climate like the music
industry, nothing is a given. One silver lining and what the three of them look back on as the highlight of their career, came
last December. After hitting rock bottom and entertaining serious discussions about breaking up, the phone rang. And the
coveted call came from Indica Records.

From then on, they were officially a signed band. Minor achievements and milestones have occurred since, such as a
Quebec tour opening for Phantogram, a slot at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011, and the completion of a 27-day-stint of recording
with Nimbus Studios in Gibsons, BC (their first album is on track for a January release). But their current position is one of
insecurity and impatience.

As I said my goodbyes until the 5:45 show the next day at OUMF, they made a point of letting me know the show was
probably not going to be a good one.
“I doubt anyone will show up other than our friends.”
“A fifteen minute line check? I guarantee we’ll sound at best 60%.”

In the middle of OUMF Festival or what appeared to be a street fest on St. Denis, I stumbled on Half Moon Run’s stage,
where a small crowd stood far from the band, observing in a skeptical manner. Sadly, the skepticism was valid. The free
show in the middle of the street came across as barely one step up from street performers and the members of the band
looked entirely unhopeful. Through the anxiety and obvious concerns over sound quality, the trio hastily finished setting up
and waited for their leader to start the set.
Devon let the opening atmospheric synth-effect
of 21 Gun Salute ring out. Cue Conner’s keys. Cue Devon’s vocals. Cue Dylan’s syncopated beat. And by the time Devon
crooned, “I keep fucking it up and it’s tough / maybe it’s just because I’m out of luck”, the audience members had undivided
their attention and were officially captivated. Even if the music was only 60%, it sounded amazing.
With every song, the crowd grew and the support increased.
By Need It, a slowed down 3/4 ballad making its live debut, several hundred people had gathered around this random band
on a small stage in the middle of St. Denis. Conner, out of elation, took to the microphone and informed them that it was the
biggest crowd they’d ever played for. Then he pointed out their friend and mentioned the $5 CDs for sale (so what if they’re
just old demos featuring mostly songs they’d long retired?).
I happened to be standing next to their friend and within moments, during Half Moon Run’s closing number, ironically titled
Give Up, a swarm engulfed my formerly comfortable spot. Dozens and dozens of new fans waved cash until they had
demos in hand. Then, the realization that every demo was sold out. At the conclusion of the set, Devon scampered
backstage to bring out the last remaining demos in stock and within seconds, they were gone. All this amidst a thundering
applause, an applause representing certainty. The skepticism from thirty minutes ago was now only a forgotten memory. A
slew of girls caught sight of the band behind the outdoor stage and rushed over to demand signatures on the demos.
Overcome with emotion and with frantically shaky hands, the band obliged.
This was a new high.

I remember once hearing Kurt Cobain speak about life in a rising band. He said that in his ideal world, every few months he
would start an unknown band, rise to prominence, and then start over again.
Watching Devon, Dylan, and Conner’s expressions as they were mobbed by groupies, sold out of demos, and cheered for
by hundreds of new fans, I finally had a picture to go along with Kurt’s quote. Someday, whether they make it big or not,
Half Moon Run will look back on that performance as a highlight of their career, because forty hours a week, lost friends, no
relationships, incomplete diplomas, and part-time jobs all culminated to this. And this, for the time being, was success. - Forget the Box

"Half Moon Run | Forget The Box"

Half Moon Run pt.1

by Brian Guthmann 4 October 2011 No Comment

Begging for an autograph on the $5 demo she purchased a few seconds ago, the attractive concert attendee broke her revering gaze on the members of Half Moon Run for several precious seconds to ask me if I knew their names. I inquired which one, and in a sultry tone, she let me know that it didn’t matter… because they were all sexy.
But thirty minutes ago, she, along with the dozens of other converted groupies, had no idea Half Moon Run existed. And one day earlier, neither did I, sort of…

The night before the show (at OUMF Festival), through guitarist/keyboardist/back up vocalist Conner Molander, I arranged an interview / rehearsal sit-in with the band at their rented jam space. The space is situated in a particularly sketchy neighborhood (an unsupervised naked child strolled by) and doubles as a venue / illegal party space whenever it’s not shut down by law enforcement, so I offered a precautionary farewell to my bike as I locked it to a post outside.

The three-piece met me on the sidewalk, answered an onslaught of questions, and then took me inside to digest all the biographical information while they ran through their set in practice for the following day set on St. Denis. All of them barefoot, Dylan (Phillips: drummer/keyboardist/back up vocalist) shirtless, and Devon (Dunn-Portielje: Lead singer/guitarist) slightly drunk off Tecate, the atmosphere leaned towards casual. But the intensity on their respective instruments was unwavering.

Originally a 5-piece, Half Moon Run lost two members and shuffled their entire sound around. Due to the lack of manpower, they went exclusively folk and have grown progressively more dimensional since, with each member performing two or three duties at once (especially Dylan who somehow manages to play synthesizer, drums, and back-up vocals all at once). Unfortunately, inviting a new member in to help is out of the question, because in Devon’s words, “We’re too deep down the rabbit hole.”

In the overheated practice room, the trio methodically played their brand of indie/folk/electronic (imagine a younger Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, and Radiohead supergroup) and discussed possible alterations between already-perfected songs. Their obsessive nature and flawless precision were spot-on for clear reasons. Forty hours of practice a week, constant refinement on technique and music theory, and the sacrifice of any social life have made Half Moon Run the band they are now. They all work part-time jobs just to pay the rent and maintain the beer supply. None of the three have held an intimate relationship in years, all have lost friends, and two have dropped out of school.
This is dedication.

Their tiring efforts have taken a toll, especially on Devon, who is noticeably exhausted and ready for the future. Not to say that Half Moon Run concern themselves with success, rather, little emphasis is put on getting their name out. Instead, they allow their shows to speak—and in most cases, that’s all it takes to win over new fans (though concert attendance is limited, as they recall their largest previous show topping off at 250, while most don’t surpass a few dozen). As Devon’s near-falsetto and entirely-agonized voice cries, “the needle in your skin brings you closer to God” on the closing-credits-worthy track Full Circle, I remember the uncertainty about Half Moon Run’s future Hafffhe exposed earlier. “I doubt it frequently. But at this point, there are no better options.” Those words kept running through my mind and even now, I don’t know if they’ve fully sink in.

Tomorrow part 2 of Half Moon Run’s story is coming out! Stay tuned. - Forget the Box


Still working on that hot first release.



"() while the biggest buzz around the festival was for Montreal trio Half Moon Run." - Mark Monahan, Director of the Ottawa Bluesfest, interviewed by the Ottawa Sun

"Their minimal but textured rock had real dynamics. It had hooks. They looked and sounded a bit like Girls. It was buzz heaven, the sinews on everyone's necks bulged as they were juiced with pure buzz, and Half Moon Run were borne aloft through the streets to be crowned Buzz Kings Of The Festival." - Gavin Haynes, NME

"30 minutes of impeccable performance and we have the certainty that the band, will soon be huge. From the first song a dramatic beauty settles in; the delegates nod their heads in admiration, seeming to say without hesitation, "we"ve got one". Le singer is attractive, a sort of young Leo di Caprio, sings like a god, with the class of Chris Isaak, the intensity of Jeff Buckley. The group, their influences too numerous or too well integrated to be visible, strings together beautiful songs, which travel from
the abyss to the stars, from Radiohead to Fleet Foxes, from Cold War Kids to infinity. 30 minutes was short, well enough to convince us" - Les Inrocks

Half Moon Run is a talented young trio based in Montreal, Canada. Devon Portielje, from Ottawa (On), met Conner Molander and Dylan Phillips, from Comox (BC), through a mutual friend and an ad on CraigsList in 2009.

After some hasty line-up changes the band in its current form was born, tied to the walls of a sweaty room in Montreal's mile-end district. It was there through the hardships of time constraints and flatlined bank accounts that the trio bonded and created their unique sound, fusing together the restless elements of indie, pop and folk with beautiful rhythmic harmonies, delicate guitar lines and a hint of warm electronica.

Aged 20-25 years old, but armed with solid training and raw talent, they combine varied musical backgrounds, often trading instruments and multitasking to great effect. Their increasingly complex arrangements are probably best explained by seeing them live. Portielje's vocals are on a level rarely seen in the indie music scene and are backed up superbly by Molander and Phillips. Phillips often plays drums and keys simultaneously as Molander and Portielje shuffle between guitar, keys, samplers, and percussion. Folky three-part harmonies hold down moody, psychedelic arrangements and electronic-infused soundscapes.

Although together for less than two years, the band has quickly caught the ear of programmers and tastemakers. The trio wowed audiences at Transmission, CMW and M for Montreal in 2011, opened for indie-electro-pop duet Phantogram and were proclaimed "biggest buzz around the festival" by Ottawa Bluesfest Director Mark Monahan; as well as "Buzz Kings Of The (M for Montreal) Festival" by NME.

2012 kicks off with invitations to CMW, SXSW and the Great Escape in the UK. Half Moon Run is currently finalising the recording of their debut album to be released in Canada in late March 2012. They will then begin an extended tour playing in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and China.