Luna Kiss – Following Shadows
By Pete Clemons
One year ago this month, during July 2017, Luna Kiss decamped themselves into a caravan near Reading, for several weeks, in order to be in close proximity to the Outhouse recording studios. To ensure that they were well prepared for the studio experience, they refined the demos that they had lined up in advance, at their own mini studio at Luna HQ.
And now the results of those efforts are out there, in the public domain, for all to hear. Personally, I must admit to being more than pleasantly surprised by Luna Kiss’s latest album. Titled ‘Following Shadows’, to these ears at least, is a huge step up for the band.
It also needs to be mentioned that John Mitchell, who runs the Outhouse studios, has done an outstanding job in the albums production. By coincidence, and without knowing he had been involved, Luna Kiss had enjoyed several albums that John Mitchell had added his skills to. And it was through their previous manager that contact was made. John recorded the source sound perfectly. As such it is a true recording in as much as that the sound you hear is the sound that went in.
When you consider that Luna Kiss have a whole new version of the single ‘Take Her Away’ included on the album then, effectively, it has been in the making for around seven years. ‘Gravity’ is another single which has been revisited. With some of the harmonies stripped out of the original, the tune has a completely different feel to it. Described by the band as a sleepy song, the reality with ‘Gravity’ is that it is mellower. It doesn’t contain so many notes and has more space within it which gives the musicians more time to think. As such it has been deliberately selected to fit in toward the end of the record as the album begins its decent.
The entire band was quick to admit that it was a wonderful experience working with John Mitchell. Despite living on top of each other they had managed to have a good time in Reading and enjoyed the whole recording process. They also acknowledged that John went above and beyond. In addition to producing the album John took the stress and tension out of the process and managed to quickly diffuse any tensions which naturally occur in these situations. He was quick to pick up on when they needed to unwind and party.
Luna Kiss is a well-rehearsed, dedicated and close knit band. Come rain or shine they spend two evenings a week honing their craft at Luna HQ. At their albums recent launch gig, support bands Free Galaxy and The Ellipses, proved to be the perfect foil. It was a difficult night for all the musicians as, the recent heatwave, meant that the venue felt like the inside of a cooker. But after hearing The Ellipses energetic and, their more than impressive set, I really thought that it was going to be a case of the main attraction being blowing away at their own gig. Clearly this was recognised and acknowledged as Luna Kiss appeared to up their game, based on previous gigs I have witnessed, and they put in a simply outstanding performance.
The songs on the album ‘Following Shadows’ appear to be based on personal experiences. Overall though, I find the album strangely uplifting. I do believe that, with this release, Luna Kiss really have come into their own. It is a very solid rock album that is, at times, very ambitious. Your attention is maintained throughout by its adventurous nature. I truly hope that this album reaches a wider audience and gives it the attention it deserves. A single from the album ‘You Are’ is up on youtube for you to sample.