Breathless will be releasing Blue Moon,
on Double Vinyl, Double CD & Download
On 12th February 2016
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 savour 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, bashfully admitting
that Breathless “don’t promote ourselves very well, basically.” Well, that’s as may be. But you
can’t keep an album this sublime, a group this remarkable, secret for too long.
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,” deadpans 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.”
For this new album, 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 instalment, Moonstone 3, accompanies this new 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 favourite 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.”
In the years that followed Blue Moon, Breathless have continued questing onwards, pulling
songs together from the constellations of sound they pioneer in the rehearsal room,
scavenging melodies like they were panning for gold (and scoring an impressive hit rate)
across the sides of subsequent albums Behind The Light and Green To Blue.
But 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.
Walk Down To The Water
Press Jim Johnstone firstname.lastname@example.org