"OUR HEAD" EP
VELVET ELK RECORDS
OUT MARCH 24, 2017
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Arthur Moon crafts an electro-tinged rock music that evokes the experimental spirit of Radiohead and the idiosyncratic Americana one might expect from a musician raised on both The Dirty Projectors and Jeff Buckley.
The debut release - an EP called Our Head - is a four-song foray into the dark, playful terrain of Arthur Moon’s world, where lush vocals pull listeners into compositions that feel both soothing and unnerving.
Arthur Moon is the moniker of composer/singer Lora-Faye Ashuvud. A Swede raised in Brooklyn, Ashuvud studied contemporary art at Smith College and moved back to New York shortly after graduating to begin her career in music. Despite being self-taught (she still does not read music), her songwriting and singing quickly earned her several prestigious awards, including the Grand Prize from NPR’s Mountain Stage-sponsored NewSong contest at Lincoln Center. With the Arthur Moon project, Ashuvud turns towards her self-taught perspective, embracing a way of making music that’s decidedly (and intentionally) incorrect.
Ashuvud experiences a rare form of migraine that causes aphasia. During these migraines, Ashuvud is lucid but unable to speak properly: “I’m having a migraine” might come out “Pony, Christmas tree, elbow!”
“I was tickled by having the ground pulled out from under me like that,” says Ashuvud. “And I realized it was a version of what I’d always been looking for from music – that feeling of being turned on your head, not knowing up from down, wrong note from right note, one from two. Of being outside, disoriented, queered.”
Arthur Moon emerged out of Ashuvud’s attempt to embrace this pleasurable “incorrectness” in music. Our Head is the bold, giddying result, informed by Greil Marcus’s Old, Weird America and Federico Garcia Lorca’s In Search of Duende, and crafted through Ashuvud’s peculiar, polymathic approach to composing (writing lyrics, for example, via cut-up poems in the style of William S. Burroughs). Some tracks experiment with how music can joyfully upend a listener when the rules of formal composition or time signature are inverted (see “Boxing” and “Bold Affair”), while others explore the way disorientation inflects our relationships (see “Room”) and political systems (“Wind-Up”).
The Arthur Moon band includes bassist Marty Fowler (a composer for This American Life and Limetown), vocalist and keyboard player Rachel Brotman (plays with Autre Ne Veut), guitarist Nick Lerman, drummer Dave Palazola, and vocalist Aviva Jaye.