True Moon are a foursome from Sweden who are genuinely and interestingly different. They have created a quite enchanting blend of darkwave, post-punk, and alternative rock that eclipses musical trends – a sort of cross between an 80’s mix of Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Cure, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission; and more recent bands like British Sea Power, and The Slow Readers Club. The overall effect is almost New Romantic at times but somehow considerably more meaty and satisfying!
They came about when the Grammy-nominated Swedish band Vånna Inget folded, leaving Karolina Engdahl (vocals/bass) and Tommy Tift (guitar) wanting to continue to weave their dark magic, but to create something that was more raw and visceral than the songs they were working on for Vånna. “It was like an urge and we just had to do this,” says Engdahl. They enlisted Linus Segerstedt (guitar) and Fredrik Orevad (drums) and together became a “coming force” to be reckoned with. In much the same way as The Slow Readers Club have re-energised this New Generation New Romantic sound in the UK by being voted Manchester’s best up-and-coming band in 2019, True Moon have that same fresh and intriguing “boing-ey and jangly” guitar sound, coupled with Engdahl’s wonderful voice – the vocals and melodies have more than a touch of Stevie Nicks and Heart about them.
The first fruit of their efforts was True Moon’s 2016 self-titled debut, a brooding yet sensual work that garnered much attention in the Scandinavian music community and beyond. They nicely captured that Siouxsie / Cure angst in an 80’s sound of bittersweet twilight (see video).
“II” is the title of True Moon’s second album, and it continues in that same vein of Dark Romantic. The album was actually released in Sweden in the Autumn of 2019, and garnered much praise in Scandanavian music mags such as Gaffa, post-punk.com, and New Noise. The album is recorded by producer and True Moon studio member Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Johnossi, Sahara Hotnight).
The album contains another eight wistful, brooding, heavy-weight but tuneful and accessible songs, still driven by a twin attack of Cure / TSRC – style echoing, jangling guitars that bounces insidiously around your mind whilst Karolina’s voice simultaneously haunts and captivates you. I imagine they could be fantastic live and I understand they’ve toured in both the US and in their home country, plus a solitary support role for MCC in London. It’s high time they got to tour the rest of the UK!
Video of one of the new songs
More recently, True Moon have expanded their audience with performances across Europe and the United States, playing with bands like Killing Joke, King Dude, MCC, Dead Soul. They’re keen to reach out to a wider audience, Karolina says “we want to draw our own cult of believers together and create a little chaos of our own,” Karolina says. Now that the album is released more widely, who’s to say they won’t achieve that – go for it guys!