Moonlight Towers

Moonlight Towers

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandRockPop

Moonlight Towers' second record is a blazing, shimmering nugget with soaring melodies and vivid songs to spare. Andy Smith, Pop Culture Press

Biography

How does the Austin, Texas band and Chicken Ranch Records recording artists Moonlight Towers win such lofty praise as “amazing”
(Performing Songwriter) and “simply wonderful” (High Bias)? Just by doing what
comes naturally: writing, recording and playing real rock’n’roll with a hearty pop kick, and being a genuine band.
It’s really that simple.
That not so secret key of creating “good pop/rock music with hooks, heart AND heartache” — as Dagger
Zine describes Moonlight Towers — has made the group “Austin’s favorite three-minute heroes” (Austin
American-Statesman) and the renowned musical city’s “finest power pop export” (Pop Culture Press). And on
Day Is The New Night, their third long-player, the foursome deliver their finest and richest sonic offering yet of
what’s already been hailed as “perfectly molded power-pop” (Chicago Reader) and “radio-ready, popaccented
guitar rock” (Texas Music).
Such superlatives become viscerally tangible the moment the band steamrolls into “Heat Lightning,” the disc’s
aptly named lead track that declares “Oh baby can you feel it? Shaking the ground like thunder?” Yep, you sure
can on that and such other infectious powerhouse rockers like “What Else Can I Say,” “Baby Don’t Slow Me
Down,” “Not A Kid Anymore” and “Black River.” The band struts their soulful tail-feathers on “Can’t Shake This
Feelin’” and “The Easy Way Out,” and casts a Lennonesque spell straight from Abbey Road Studios on “Distant
Wheels” and “Comes A Time.” The timeless potency of two mighty guitars and muscular bass and drums bristles
with an urgency ripe for these modern times, buoying vocals that alternately sear, soar and seduce as alluring
harmonies and choruses deliciously ice the album’s layer-cake of sonic pleasures.
Augmented by a panorama of keyboards as well as punchy horns here and swirling strings there, Day Is The
New Night is melodic to the max, as energizing as a mainline shot of vitamin B-12, and boasts unshakable hooks
galore. It’s music that you can’t help but sing, shake, rattle and roll along to as its songs explore the album’s title
theme of meeting adulthood with the vigor and spirit of youth, albeit informed by the wisdom and smarts that
come from truly living and learning. And in the final analysis, it all boils down to simply rock’n’roll at its finest and
most fun.
“We just want to make people dance,” is how lead singer, main songwriter and guitarist James Stevens summarizes
their musical mission. And Moonlight Towers do just that by creating “good rock that sounds familiar
and fresh at the same time,” as Punk Planet observes. And in the process they’ve evoked an honor roll of
complimentary comparisons from the music media and listeners.
First and foremost of course there’s The Beatles. Given the music Moonlight Towers plays — plus the Fab Four’s
everlasting seminal influence — “Kinda hard to avoid, right?” notes Stevens. And such notables as Wilco, The
Replacements, Tom Petty, Radiohead, Black Crowes, Big Star and Badfinger. Plus diverse acts like Bruce
Springsteen, Yo La Tengo, Superdrag, Matthew Sweet, Flaming Lips, Buddy Holly, Built to Spill, The Everly
Brothers, even David Bowie, Gram Parsons and The Plastic Ono Band.
Not that Moonlight Towers even try to be like anyone other than themselves. What the many and myriad references
ultimately say is that the band plays high quality rock’n’roll with hooks that stick like Superglue and carry
a broad, timeless appeal. And boast what All Music Guide calls “a sound that has been a constant in popular
music for 40 years.” Yep. It’s called rock’n’roll.
When Stevens was writing the first batch of songs that birthed the band some 10 years ago, he was listening to
such classic acts as The Beatles, Kinks and Neil Young, and honing the art of writing his own indelible melodies
and songs that said something. He was also refining the recording skills that led him to build and run East Austin
Recording (with producer/musician/songwriter Stephen Doster), one of the city’s top studios, plus produce and
engineer critically-acclaimed albums for a range of acts from proletariat pop-rockers The Service Industry to
visionary country neo-traditionalist Lucky Tubb.
Given Stevens’ Mississippi youth, it’s no surprise that his band’s “well crafted power-pop” (Performing
Songwriter) comes with a distinctly Southern accent among its many qualities. He grew up in the small town of
West Point within an Old South milieu that could have come straight out of Faulkner or To Kill a Mockingbird.
Church choir and piano lessons set his musical foundation. And with Tupelo about an hour away, “Elvis was it,”
notes Stevens. Sharing birthplace with blues master Howlin’ Wolf, he was also indelibly struck by smokestack
lightning at an impressionable age.
The electricity that beamed from the radio glued to his ear from an early age fired his imagination. Stevens
switched from piano to guitar while still in short pants, and made hi

Discography

Moonlight Towers "Self Titled" Debut - Released 2002

Moonlight Towers "Like You Were Never There" - Released 2005

Moonlight Towers "Day Is The New Night" - April 12, 2011

Upcoming Album "Heartbeat Overdrive" fall 2013 release

"Heat Lightning" named "Coolest Song In The World" by Little Steven Van Zandt on "Underground Garage" Sirius and internationally syndicated terrestrial radio. "Black River" and "What Else Can I Say" also recieved heavy airplay.