Most music you hear on ‘popular’ radio sits in the background of your mind all day, some annoyingly catchy phrase or melody repeating itself inanely without any emotional effect. M. Craft’s (Martin Craft) Blood Moon takes you to a different place entirely, opening up a part of your unconscious that hasn’t been touched in a long time, and evokes a dreamlike nostalgia so beautiful and haunting that your day might suddenly halt as you struggle to take it all in.
The album is primarily piano based. Craft, having lived for a period of time around the Joshua Tree National Park in California, began by sitting down and working on some basic improvisations, eventually laying down several hour-long piano pieces that reflect the ethereal isolation of the desert. After further refinement, with added synth, strings, and touches of percussion that reproduce ‘the rustle of wind in a smoke tree, the hoot of an owl, the beating wings of a passing crow’, Craft presents to us his brilliant final product.
This doesn’t feel like a collection of solitary songs. In fact, listening with the mindset of one song at a time feels self limiting, and it is only when the album is listened to in one complete sitting – each song progressing into the next so that there is a sense of a discernible journey – that you can fully appreciate its scope and ambition, and maybe even understand why it seems suited to being listened to on a journey of your own: car drifting on a quiet carriageway in the twilight, stars twinkling above the horizon.
This is the place that Blood Moon takes you, far away from the banality of over-produced Radio 1 chart music with vocals so heavily drenched in auto tune you could swear it was a robot singing. If you’re feeling a bit melancholy, and the sun has just set, a purple-blue hue staining the sky like a drop of ink in a glass of water, give this album a go and let it sweeten your tired, urban mind.