Radar Band Of The Week – Half Moon Run

“Have you heard this new band? They’re great. They’re from Montreal…” It’s a familiar sentence, but, given the Canadian city’s musical pedigree over the past few years, one that still carries weight. Arcade Fire, Wainwrights Rufus and Martha, The Besnard Lakes, The Dears, Grimes, Purity Ring and Mac DeMarco all come from the Quebec metropolis.

Now you can add Half Moon Run to that illustrious list. Their debut single ‘Full Circle’ is currently on the playlist at Radio 1, and the band are about to go from supporting their kind-of label masters Mumford & Sons (HMR are signed to Ben Lovett’s Communion label) around Europe to supporting Icelandic alt-folkies Of Monsters And Men across the US.

“There is a bit of a buzz around us at the moment,” says singer and guitarist Conner Molander, sitting on the side of the autobahn between Berlin and Dusseldorf. Things, he says, are going “pretty well” back in Montreal (they’re all over the radio there too) while being added to the Beeb’s roster was “nice news”.

The 22-year-old can, however, see a tangible difference between their recent electrifying show at London’s Shacklewell Arms and the one they played in the capital back in November. “People wanted to talk to us this time,” he says, dryly.

Conner’s fellow band members are 26-year-olds Devon Portielje, Dylan Phillips and Isaac Symonds. The latter recently rejoined after initially walking away from the band, who formed after responding to an ad on Craigslist, North America’s equivalent of Gumtree. “We met in October 2009,” Molander continues. “I had just moved from British Columbia, and from that first jam it was apparent we were on the same page.” So much so he and Dylan immediately quit their studies – Conner was at the prestigious McGill University reading psychology – and then spent all available time rehearsing before starting to gig in 2011.

Debut album ‘Dark Eyes’ will be released in the UK in July, and features the kind of harmonies that’d make Fleet Foxes drool, as well as emotional, angst-laden lyrics. “We’re not really like that as individuals,” says Conner. “This is just what happens when we get together – we create something unique.”


Based: Montreal
For Fans Of: Fleet Foxes, Local Natives
Buy It Now: Key track ‘Full Circle’ is available on iTunes
See them Live: They’re playing several UK festivals, including Glastonbury, and also headline London’s Village Underground on June 25
Believe It Or Not: All members of the band are massive fans of Brazilian groove metallers Sepultura, particularly their most recent album, ‘Kairos’