The Moas
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The Moas

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Shoegaze

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Jul
04
The Moas @ Amigos

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CAN

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CAN

Jun
20
The Moas @ Tubby Dog

Calgary, Alberta, CAN

Calgary, Alberta, CAN

Mar
15
The Moas @ Vangelis Tavern

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CAN

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CAN

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

Music

Press


2013 and 2014 have been packed with some of the best shoegaze and dream pop in ages. That an album as strong and engaging as The Moas self-titled debut didn’t make it to SBWR when it was released in August speaks to the massive quality and quantity of reverb-soaked output the world over. Featuring lovely, lazily swoony vocals; complex, ever-changing time structures; dream-pop melodies; and just enough reverb to fuzz up the edges, the album garnered well-deserved positive notice locally. The Saskatoon foursome explore catchy indie-pop melodies laid out by bending guitars and a peculiar organ (‘Blue Light’) as well as slow, dreamy tunes with boomy bass (‘No Colonial’) and a cohesive indie-rock sound that makes it all shine attractively. The band is already hard at work recording new material, so check Bandcamp to get caught up! [by Dave Lytton] - Sounds Better With Reverb (blog)


Saskatoon, you colonial outpost, what have you here? The Moas. Extinct birds, no; shoegaze prairie prayers, yeah. Arguejob nearly missed this. The Moas have kept us waiting. But this debut full length is slow cooked to perfection. I saw their show at Wunderbar nearly three years ago and found it so compelling, so centripetal. Since then, I have always imagined Saskatoon as a place where bands like The Moas exist. Partake: Edifying sadness imbued in every jam, dragging you limply through the frozen lake waters of Sonia Dickin’s voice. The way “Blue Light” leads you into a straight forward rock and roll jam but suddenly uncovers its true face with The Moas signature dispossessed angelic motif. “Of Mice” remains a favourite, a curve ball progression with lilting bedroom tones, ripe with a gentle angst and a the twining dance of cigarette smoke. “Thinner For It” is the shadowy centrepiece of the record, diving into the bag of tricks to produce something molasses thick and solid to the senses. In 35 minutes we have a tightly bound knot of songs that find you wherever you are and plunge you into the inner recesses of your finitude. On repeat. - Argue Job


What is going on in Saskatoon these days? There seems to be a creative force weaving through the Cypress Hills and across the plains of Saskatchewan as the province’s musicians continually produce some of the great new music this country has to offer. The self-titled debut album by The Moas is no exception. This eight-track LP offers up a solid effort from start to finish with catchy melodies and pulsing rhythms, which remind us all of the open sky the western plains have to offer.

The first thing that you will notice about this release is the influence that Stereolab has on it. From the vocals to the musical aesthetics this album is littered with them. However, The Moas offer a more rock-infused feel using fewer synthesizers effects giving it a more straight ahead feel.

The laid back airy vocals with which Sonia Dickin’s sings are infectious; they’re a real treat and a highlight of the album. Her vocals warmly guide you through the tracks offering a nice compliment to the musical sensibilities of the band, much like those of Laetitia Sadier, although seemingly less harsh.

Some album highlights include the catchy “All The Time”. Shimmering guitars lead us slowly to Dickin’s soothing vocals, which surrounds and engulfs the aural-scape while singing “Oh, I got all the time in the world”. In contrast, the rhythm section forcefully pushes the track forwards towards a pleasing crescendo.

“Blue Light” begins with a grunge-like guitar riff before the music settles to crunching in the background, allowing for the smooth vocals and catchy melody to take over. This song is a real gem.

“No Colonial”, delves to seemingly darker places than much of the rest of the album offering a nice musical contrast.

This album showers us with glimpses of the possibilities of what The Moas have to offer. Their strength lies in their ability to construct tracks that allow Dickin’s vocals to shine through. This is a very strong debut and I look forward to hearing where The Moas go from here.
- CJLO


Creative enclaves are as diverse as the territories breeding them, infusing artistries that are by no means bound to the hallowed grounds of the dimly lit streets and fractured skylines rendered so by the sonic stirrings of frantic limbs. The prairies, perhaps due to their endearing vastness, seem to be the breeding grounds for the upbeat melancholy sought by dream-pop addicts, whose starving ears can now lasciviously consume The Moas. With their self-titled debut, the band delivers a sonorous expansiveness that rises above the day’s relative mundanity. Theirs is a quiet brilliance, conveying a dreaminess hitherto existing solely in the deepest recesses of our estranged sleep. This is a place where intelligibilities are blurred and The Moas reign supreme as the emancipators of the uninspired and dreamless. - Weird Canada


There are times when the music leaps from your speakers and fills your ears with goosebump-inducing melodies. The first time that I listened to The Moas, it felt instantly familiar, yet refreshingly new. When you look back at the history of music, from The Beatles-led British invasion to Athens scene that produced REM to the Manchester scene championed by bands like Happy Mondays, there were always sections of the world that seemed to be the primary source of great music. Because music has become more global, bands seem to sprout from every corner of the Earth. To discover that The Moas are from Saskatoon doesn’t even surprise me at this point, even though they’re the first band that I’ve interviewed from that part of Canada. I stumbled upon them via Bandcamp, immediately fell in lust and then tracked them down, so that I could share them with the world. Meet The Moas.
Todd: How and when did all of you meet?

Sonia: Saskatoon is a city of roughly 245,000, so when it come to music, if you like it, you’re bound to meet eventually. Amigos is one of my favourite places to go to to see live music in Saskatoon. That’s probably where I met these guys. Everything comes down to bands, beer and Amigos. Oh, and they have wicked soft tacos. So ya… small city, music, beer and soft tacos.

Todd: I think you’re the first band from Saskatoon that we’ve interviewed! What’s the music scene like up there?

Sonia: Amazing. There are so many good bands here! There’s such a diverse and supportive community of musicians, artists and music enthusiasts in Saskatoon right now. The music scene is small enough that it can’t really afford to be genre based. Everyone comes out to see each other play, and that makes for really interesting shows and unique sounding bands. Right now, my favourite Saskatoon bands are The Foggy Notions, Adolyne, Shooting Guns and Ones.

Sarah: Unlike bigger places, the barrier to entry is very low. You get a lot of different projects with a seemingly endless supply of collaborators, and it’s very welcoming. That said, I’m sure it’s cliquey in a way I can’t perceive. But probably less so than in a bigger, cooler city.

Chad: I’m not sure if the LSD testing at the University Of Saskatchewan in the early 60's has something to do with it but Saskatoon has a very strong “psychedelic” and experimental music scene that has been percolating since the late 90s. Lots of shoegazy pop, stoner rock, drone, electronic and ambient music. Often when people from bigger centres come to Saskatoon they are really surprised at how developed our bands and scene are.

Scott: Some of that is because we’re such a remote place no one was trying to “make it”, everyone is playing for their own enjoyment.

Todd: The album that you’re about to release is fantastic. Is this your first release?

Sonia: Thanks! This is our first release. We’ve been playing together since 2010 and have essentially been sitting on this record for a year and half for various reasons. Long story short, we are very excited to finally share this record, but we’ve already set our sights on the next one. We plan to start recording again this fall.

Todd: Sonically, this doesn’t sound like a low-budget home recording. Did you record this in a studio or are you just great at twisting the knobs?

Chad: The record is a mixture of both studio and home recording. I have been recording with varying degrees of success for about 15 years so self producing is something that is really important to me. We didn’t have access to a good drum tracking room so we recorded drums and the vocals in a friends studio. The rest of the record was recorded in my home studio. Now that my house is totally set up to record the next record will likely all be home recorded.

Todd: You cite Stereolab, Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine as influences. I must say that it reminds me a bit of Lush, Ride and even early Slowdive. You seem to have a knack for adding some melodic chord progressions, rather than the rather droney elements that I associate with MBV. Would you agree?

Sonia: Yes, I would absolutely agree that this record is based heavily around melodic chord progressions. Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride and Slowdive are all relevant influences. I don’t necessarily start writing a song with a particular sound or influence in mind, it just naturally comes out sounding like the a swirly collective of the stuff I like to listen to and the bands that get me excited to write and play music. I love anything that is melodic, laid back and yet loud and noisy; this record definitely has those elements, and the next one will too. The new stuff we are working on now is taking those melodic parts, and amping up the drone.

Chad: All of those bands were enormous Influences on my playing over the years. I think the more melodic elements of the band come from growing up listening to Canadian bands like Eric’s Trip and The Super Friendz.

Todd: Any plan - The Dumbing of America


The Bird Is The Word
Craig Silliphant
Published Thursday December 15, 12:42 pm
LOCAL INDIE / SHOEGAZE SUPERGROUP TAKES FLIGHT


THE MOAS
THURSDAY 22
AMIGOS
The Moas are a local band featuring Sonia Dickin, Sarah Rutley, Chad Munson, Scott Gowen and Jim Ginther. The most obvious question, of course, is: what the hell does the name mean?

“A moa was avery large flightless bird, native to New Zealand,” says guitarist Chad Munson, guitarist for The Moas. “They were huge — 12 feet tall and 500 pounds!”

The bird, unfortunately, is extinct — but the band, which was formed from the ashes of A Gentle Forest (in which Munson and Dickin played together), is definitely taking flight. When the other members of AGF became busy with life and school, Dickin and Munson decided to start up something new and fresh.

“[We wanted to do] something more rocking than the slow, quiet songs of AGF,” Munson says. “I had recently acquired a vintage Farfisa organ, which is a sound I’ve always loved due to my unhealthy Stereolab and Broadcast obsessions. I was really keen on adding that sound to our palette.”

Soon after, keyboard player Sarah Rutley moved back to Saskatoon from Victoria, and she came on board, along with Gowen and Ginther. Munson has long been an amazing songwriter on guitar. (He’s written and played with sludgier psych bands like Golden Smoke, and hit near math-rock heights with American Geography.) The Moas’ sound is another side to not only Munson, but also Dickin: rooted in ‘90s indie and art rock, the couple of songs that I’ve heard remind me a bit of some beautiful love child of Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine.

“The Moas embrace our love of ‘90s American indie rock and shoegaze with dashes of analog synth nerdery,” says Munson. “Most of the songs are Sonia’s creations that we all tend to build on. It’s a fair departure from the projects I’ve been involved in. I get to tap into my first musical loves — indie rock of the ‘90s and analog keyboards.”

Keyboard player Rutley has moved to Toronto to pursue her master’s degree, but the band is still committed to their music. Rutley will be playing at the upcoming December show, but they’ve had to play a couple of gigs in her absence — and from there, they’ll adapt and overcome, says Munson.

“So far, we’ve done a small tour without her, just as a four piece. It went quite well,” he says, “[but] I was personally really missing having the dual vocals and organ. It’s just a matter of adjusting without her. We’ve also discussed having someone fill in for her when she’s not here. We’re still working it out, I suppose.”

They’re also working out an album that you’ll see next year, but for now, you can catch The Moas in all their live glory at Amigos. You’ll also be able to get your hands on your own Cate Francis-designed Moas T-shirt, which features inbred kitties being turned into hot air balloons. If this isn’t enough of a reason to suss out the show, how about the fact that they suffer for their art?

“We’re the only band in Saskatoon who will bother to drag a 100-pound organ around to shows, rather than find a Nord or something else that sounds like it,” says Munson. “There’s nothing like a real transistor organ — nothing!” - Planet S magazine


THE MOAS @ AMIGOS CANTINA —Saskatoon indie shoegaze rockers The Moas will be taking over the stage at Amigos Cantina August 27th for their live show. The group’s dynamic sound features hard-rocking drumlines and melodic guitar strumming, through which the ensemble weaves its strong vocals. The result is a smooth breed of catchy indie-rock that draws together the diversity of The Moas’ infectiously ambitious and dramatic sonic textures. The Fjords and The Friends Electric will also take the stage for a night of great music; tickets are $8 at the door.

-Madeline Kotzer - Verb


THE MOAS @ AMIGOS CANTINA —Saskatoon indie shoegaze rockers The Moas will be taking over the stage at Amigos Cantina August 27th for their live show. The group’s dynamic sound features hard-rocking drumlines and melodic guitar strumming, through which the ensemble weaves its strong vocals. The result is a smooth breed of catchy indie-rock that draws together the diversity of The Moas’ infectiously ambitious and dramatic sonic textures. The Fjords and The Friends Electric will also take the stage for a night of great music; tickets are $8 at the door.

-Madeline Kotzer - Verb


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, THE MOAS pitch their musical tent somewhere between Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, and a hard place. Their music seamlessly incorporates elements of shoegaze, garage rock, psychedelia, dream pop, and a heavy dose of analog. Sounds Better With Reverb describes The Moas' self-titled debut album as "featuring lovely, lazily swoony vocals; complex, ever-changing time structures; dream-pop melodies; and just enough reverb to fuzz up the edges." 

Bliss out and grow your hair to this. 

Band Members