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Breathless Blue Moon

(Vinyl 2LP)

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Item: LDB00366

Breathless Blue Moon on 2LP 

1999 Album Issued on Vinyl for the First Time with 2 Bonus Tracks!

Like a storm, it glides in quietly. But it doesn't take long before Blue Moon, the fifth album by questing London-based quartet Breathless, is shaking the ground and the trees and sky with its organic, elemental, transcendental magic. First released in 1999, Blue Moon might have thus far passed you by; now enjoying its first outing on vinyl, listeners have a second chance to savor an album that fuses the colossal grace of prime Mogwai, with the spiritual depth of the Cocteau Twins, with the unique qualities possessed by this most unique band.

"We're a bit of a secret," confesses singer/keyboardist Dominic Appleton, admitting that Breathless "don't promote ourselves very well, basically." Well, that just may be. But you can't keep an album this sublime, a group this remarkable, secret for too long. For Breathless, and for their Blue Moon album, the time is now. Blue Moon was the culmination of a long period of self-examination, of questioning what they were doing and why, of searching for their next sound. The heart of Breathless had always been the magic that arose between the four members whenever they played together in rehearsal.

"Our songs tend to be long and self-indulgent," explains Appleton, "but you wouldn't believe the amount of editing we do to refine them even to that length. We would just be in the rehearsal studio jamming on a riff for hours, floating away on it. And that's the reason I do it, because I don't like performing, but I just love floating away with music, and working with the others in the band. We love what one another do."

The group drew directly from these glorious moments, these questing sessions, using cassettes and DATs recorded during their rehearsal sessions as the bedrock of their new tunes – in some cases in unadulterated forms. "We taped all our rehearsals, just like Can used to," says Appleton. "We went back and listened through the miles of tape we'd accrued, structuring the songs out of these long jams, sometimes even using these raw materials as the finished track."

Indeed, the album's atmospheric, swelling first track "Walk Down To The Water" was a rehearsal tape instrumental that Appleton lent vocals to at home. The blissful, ever-building and powerful "Come Reassure Me" – still the opening song of Breathless' rare live performances today – started life as an instrumental piece from the same sessions, its scratch title, "Slowly Built," an accurate description of the song's muscular majesty. "It's all about atmosphere, us working together and going off on one," says Appleton.

For a limited bonus CD with the initial pressing, the group also cut a pair of extended instrumentals, "Moonstone" (parts 1 and 2) that caught their in-the-moment creativity in action; a third installment, "Moonstone 3," along with the track "Blue Moon" accompanies this new double vinyl reissue of the album. "It was just us having fun," says Appleton, of the "Moonstone" trilogy. "I love it, because we did it just the once."

Other tracks – most notably "Good Night," Appleton's favorite Breathless recording – entered the studio as fully written songs, but still the group's native approach lent them an epicness, an adventurousness, totally in keeping with the rest of the album. This wasn't simply jammed-out space-rock or post-rock frontierism for its own sake; the music of Breathless, even at its most wordless and abstract, is still powerfully emotive, ever grounded, so often moving. "We are weirdly sensitive people, all of us," says Appleton. "It's just what we're like, and that's why the Breathless sound is always there – it's a melancholy thing that runs through everything we do."

Blue Moon retains a special place in the group's heart. "It's kind of our most lo-fi and experimental record," explains Appleton. It may even be their masterpiece. Finally getting an airing on expansive vinyl, after years trapped on airless compact disc, Blue Moon is coming into its own – its unfathomable peaks of drama and atmosphere, its dulcet sensitivity and turbulent invention ripe for reappraisal. Don't waste another second: the time is now.

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Related Articles

1. Walk Down To The Water
2. Magic Lamp
3. Viva
4. Good Night
5. Green Finger Swinger
6. Come Reassure Me
7. All The Reasons Slide
8. Drifting
9. Ballroom
10. No Answered Prayers
11. Moonstone 3 (bonus track)
12. Blue Moon (bonus track)

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