Moonlight Bride
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Moonlight Bride

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
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Moonlight Bride – Young Guns
I tipped Moonlight Bride for greatness at the start of the year, and while little has happened to that effect I stand by my assertion that they’re brilliant. This is melodramatic, aching pop-rock at its most cabriolet: singalong summery songs that must be played at top volume for full uplifting benefit. The thrilling Young Guns remains my favourite: it burns and yearns with a nostalgic love based on times when life was easy. A mix of soaring peaks, hurt-speckled vocals, sudden quietude and careering guitars, it’s just a little irresistible in these balmy times. Whoa-ho-ho along – you know you want to. - ELBO.WS


Moonlight Bride, Myths
This fall, these guys blew the lid off my notion that I'd never really love a band from my hometown—though I'm ashamed to admit I had to be told about them third-hand from some out-of-town folks before I believed it. Still, in less than a month, Myths has become one of my favorite albums of the year. (You can listen to most of it on Myspace.) It's just ten tracks but it feels huge, dark and wounded but shot through at all the right moments with glorious, bursting choruses and moody, skittering guitar. The foursome holed up in a warehouse practice space earlier this year to make the album and basically recorded the whole thing live after playing it through time and time again for weeks, so there's a warring feeling between thoughtful deliberation and frantic immediacy. Moonlight Bride is unsigned and basically unknown right now, but I'm bracing myself for that to change in the next couple months. Chattanooga can't keep this secret much longer. - Paste Magazine


Moonlight Bride’s Myths opens up with “Transmissions,” a 1-1/2 minute long development of static blips and beeps, which crescendo into an offsetting series of roars, screeches and groans, putting the listener on the defensive; one isn’t sure to where the erstwhile optimistic athleticism of Moonlight Bride’s sound has fled. “Transmissions” is simply the forecast for this epic work, and even though Myths is a departure in many ways from Moonlight Bride’s former sound, the thoughtfulness and sheer creativity at work is simply, well…exciting.
This album proves that there is an experienced Chattanooga band that has made something good, something worth listening to, and that a band who has been active in this city for years is still capable of innovation and success. Thoughtful lyrics, bold soundscapes, and a visionary work ethic create a sonic turning point for Moonlight Bride and Chattanooga pop music.
Lead singer Justin Wilcox’s voice is a trebly tenor that is reminiscent of Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, but when combined with the darkly penetrating sound of Myths, it communicates a more poignant overall aesthetic, and effectively fills every song’s foreground; it is distinctive, but not overbearing or distracting. The Grizzly Bear-esque guitar tones and driving percussion patterns swirled with the distortion-marred background voices bring the listener’s attention away from the darker middle and background sounds to that which is lighter, and to the colossal lyrics which match intrepid sounds, such as these from the sophomore track “Coal Miners”:
“You were attracted to the beat of my heart / You could hear it even though we were miles apart / You were hidden somewhere in the green of my eye / In the part of me I knew would never die.”
The large nature of the songs on this album effectively pinpoint Wilcox’s vocals and other unique sounds, such as the sparse but effective synth lines, the off-color guitar riffs, the sustained moments of dissonance in coloring tones, and, most importantly, the moments of sunshine in the midst of Myths’ lurid overtones.
When the tonality goes major, the listener is ushered into the eye of the storm, such as in the chorus of the conspicuously paramount track “1915.” Here, the hypothetical is realized—where the winter melts into spring, and where one is reminded of the upbeat buoyancy of the band’s staple sound. Rather than belaboring it, these tasteful instances appear just enough to make sure that the listener can’t forget the sanguine nature of this band’s core.
Although the nature of Myths is slightly more brooding than before, there are tracks like “Marlon,” a hyper-ballad that touches the lovesick vaults of everyone’s memory, that bring homeostasis to the listener’s memories of Moonlight Bride, and truly attest to the developed artistry and creative impetus of their songwriting.
If you are looking to catch Moonlight Bride on stage soon (you should be), then you should know that the Myths CD release party will be on October 9 at JJ’s Bohemia, and after the release, in Nashville and Morristown, Tenn. on October 12 and 17, respectively. - Chattarati.com


At the end of hibernation, most animals are wasted, bony versions of the robust creatures they were when they started, but when Moonlight Bride played its first show in months, it was with vigor and a beefed-up repertoire.

The local indie alternative outfit played in Nashville last week (its first show since August), roadtesting new material for an as-yet-untitled follow-up to its 2009 critical darling, "Myths."

Lead singer Justin Wilcox said when the band took time off to write, he couldn't wait to get off the road, but he has long since gone stir-crazy.

"When we stopped playing last year, I was like, 'I never want to play another show again in my life,' and I'm dying to play right now," he said, laughing.

Saturday, Moonlight Bride will perform at JJ's Bohemia, its first gig there in months, with the exception of an acoustic set the band played for the venue's fourth-year anniversary in November.

The set will primarily consist of songs from the upcoming album, which should be out by summer. There also may be a couple of pieces from "Myths," which put the band on the radar of national outlets such as Paste Magazine and Nerve.com.

In the coming year, Wilcox said, band members hope the new material will bolster their resume and help sway music industry executives to be interested in representing them.

The new batch of songs was inspired, in part, by the disconnected perspective characters in sci-fi literature and video games have of their home planet. The dark, haunted pop tone of the material will sound familiar to fans of "Myths," if more tightly composed, Wilcox said. "The songwriting has definitely advanced," he said. "To me, it sounds a little more comfortable and confident."

Despite the attention Moonlight Bride received for "Myths," Wilcox said the musicians aren't letting the accolades go to their heads.

Unlike many local bands who spring for larger markets when they achieve notoriety, Moonlight Bride is staying put, Wilcox said.

"We have no plans to leave Chattanooga at all," he said. "I've grown up here, and I like living here. It doesn't really matter what happens, if I feel like I'll have a place here." - Chattanooga Times Free Press


I'm from Chattanooga, TN, which doesn't exactly have a reputation for producing great rock bands — or bad rock bands, or any rock bands — so when I heard about these guys from a friend in Atlanta last year I was a little skeptical. Turns out, they made one of my favorite records of 2009. It's super-dark and moody and wrapped up in all these teetering guitars; lead singer Justin Wilcox's voice is wounded-sounding but skirts all melodrama. Three of the best tracks ("If I Don't See You," "Marlon," and "There You Are") blend into a kind of mini-epic, and it's probably only a matter of time before they make a whole huge album like that. - Nerve.com


Outside of Greyfriar’s Coffee in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., the late-November sky is blue, the leaves orange and the pedestrians are shedding their outermost layers. Inside, three-fourths of local band Moonlight Bride sit around a low table, sleepy, drinking iced coffee. This is the kind of town where the mercury pushing 70 the day before Thanksgiving isn’t uncommon. But making decent rock music? That’s another matter.
Blues legend Bessie Smith was born here and R&B superstar Usher grew up in town, but despite its thriving local-arts scene and proximity to musical hotbeds in Nashville, Atlanta, Memphis and Chapel Hill, Chattanooga has never developed a music scene to speak of. Most rock bands either decamp to bigger cities, or linger and burn out. But Moonlight Bride took a less likely third route—keep it local and thrive.
After about a year of constant live gigs, the band retreated to a warehouse practice space to hash out every last detail of its first LP, Myths. Released in October, the album comprises 10 dark, interwoven songs bound by the brooding guitar work of newest member Justin Grasham and lead singer Justin Wilcox’s tremulous, bare-souled vocals, which are as haunted and alluring as the caves that riddle the rocky hills of the band’s hometown.
It’s a debut any local scene would be proud to claim, though only the faintest clues link it to Chattanooga. Wilcox sings about the church like it’s an ex-lover, hinting at a fallout common even in the buckle of the Bible Belt. And then there’s the cicadas. Drummer Matt Livingston and bassist Tyke Calfee captured the insects’ deafening drone—familiar to anyone who’s spent a summer evening in the South—last July, in the woods behinds Wilcox’s house, then used the recording to piece together Myths’ second and third tracks.
“Those kinds of sounds—that’s just something you grow up with and you love,” Calfee says. “Sometimes you take it for granted.” And sometimes, all the beauty in the world is right in your back yard. - Paste Magazine


("The best unsigned band in America is Moonlight Bride from Chattanooga.") - Stomp and Stammer


"Most likely the finest local band this town has to offer of late... To me they sound like a combination of Radiohead and early U2, Moonlight Bride combines passionate, insightful lyrics with keyboard/ guitar-driven power-pop/ rock sensibilities. What does this mean? It means you just need to go see them."
-Chuck Crowder
August 13th 2009 - Chattanooga Pulse


"Moonlight Bride got things going with a dancy brand of indie-rock..." "Wilcox's high-pitched croon reminded us a lot of our own Jon Burr (How I Became The bomb) if he were perhaps fronting The Fever or Stellastar. Competent, Melodic and by no means offensive to the ears" - Nashville Scene


"Electro-Indie dance that's a little bit Stellastar and a little bit Arcade Fire" - Athens Flagpole


"I am never more thrilled than when a band that comes out of Chattanooga sounds good. I am even more thrilled when a band from here continuously rocks our faces off and never loses the momentum with which they started. Moonlight Bride is one of these bands..."

"The obscure mix of Radiohead and Arcade Fire, with a little bit of Dixie Dirt feel sprinkled into the beat batter, makes for a really jaw-dropping and tight band."
- Chattanooga Pulse


Discography

2007 - Moonlight Bride [EP]
2008 - The City Has Tales Untold [EP]
2009 - Myths

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Bio

Moonlight Bride is a noise-pop outfit born in the industrial outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The band consists of four members: Justin Wilcox, Matt Livingston, Justin Grasham, and Dave Maki. After relentless writing, reinvention, and [touring] the band has developed a cult following as well as many critical accolades.

The band began crafting their sound in the summer of 2007, spawning two self-recorded EP's. Quickly becoming hometown favorites, word spread and the band began attaining buzz throughout the Southeast. In late 2008, guitarist Justin Grasham joined, and with a new found vigor the band retreated to an abandoned factory, shaping what would become their debut album, Myths. Written in just over a week through a series of intense writing sessions, the four members would convene around 7 pm, often finding themselves leaving well after six in the morning. These sessions marked an immense change in the band's sound, abandoning the piecemeal recording style and metaphorical narrative for a more abstract sound and genuine perspective. The album was recorded in two weeks in May 2009, primarily at As Elyzum studios, while supplementary parts were captured in various locations, including a derelict cabin and Wilcox's apartment.

Upon it’s release in October 2009, Myths was received exceptionally well by fans and critics alike and garnered the band their first bit of national and international recognition and press. The vinyl and CD copies of Myths sold out within 3 months of its initial release. The band made multiple year-end lists including “One of the 8 most auspicious
musical debuts of 2009” by Paste magazine. Multiple songs from the record made a variety of film and TV appearances. The band began touring the Southeast relentlessly in support of Myths and continued to attract new fans with their hypnotic live show.

In the spring of 2011, Moonlight Bride once again headed into As Elyzum studios to record a follow up EP to 2009’s Myths. With the current lineup solidified, the new EP was recorded by Stephen Nichols and Moonlight Bride with mixing duties handled by John Goodmanson. Titled Twin Lakes, the new recording shows the band moving towards a more dynamic sound. Filled with layers of noise and melody, Twin Lakes takes Moonlight Bride to another level.

With a new release on the horizon, Moonlight bride continues to write and improve their already inspiring live show. 2012 will prove to be a big year for this hometown band that never stops.