• Man Made Moon

Where The Stars Fall - review

Review by Andy Holdcroft of Hot Music Live

I'm really pleased today to be able to review the brand new single from Man Made Moon called "Where The Stars Fall": my first since "Weightless" in May 2019.

Quite how Ben Taylor (lead singer and rhythm guitar), Gary Ryan (bass) Ian Black (lead guitar) Nick Mew (guitar) and Colin Bean (drums) managed to convene to create it is mysterious: if they recorded their parts separately then even more kudos for how organically & sympathetically the elements blend. Respect too for the care which has gone into the production.

One thing which never ceases to impress me is how a five piece band with an apparent rock configuration line up tends to produce such delicate & haunting music. "Where The Stars Fall" continues this tradition very strongly & emphasises how "more instruments" doesn't necessarily mean "greater volume" but instead offers more subtle threads of filigree poignancy woven through the arrangement. This naturally requires several special approaches: the band members show admirable taste & restraint in their playing with respect for each other, allowing their colleagues space to play & a production (by Nick Mew) sophisticated enough to allow us to hear all of this (you could actually hear a proverbial pin drop at some points).

As ethereal as much of the work to date, this song floats in mid air, high above the earth (although some of the action it describes takes place at ground level, before lifting off), raising the protagonists above the mundane. There is consequently a wonderful spiritual aspect to the story, appropriate to the season, and one can discern elements of C S Lewis (and Raymond Briggs) in the imagery & tone.

Vocals shimmer in & out of the mix (the choral parts towards the end are an impressive part), ghostly guitars similarly & I enjoyed the unusual pattering drum patterns which seemed to evoke snowfall or creatures lightly traversing it: fully in concert with the superb artwork by Christine Cuddihy.

Watch out for "Where The Stars Fall" as its release is imminent: visiting should alert you as to when you can acquire it. It's an exquisite song in the very fine tradition of this band & manages very successfully to transcend the worn out vocabulary of seasonal songs. It will lift you up with it, listeners.

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