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The Moon Caravan on Collaboration, Process, and “Brand New Age”

TMC

To really review a song, you tend to leave it on repeat. You open up an empty document, start researching the band, and let the song soak in. Leaving it on as you pace around and try to bash out an outline while the song settles around you. The Moon Caravan’s “Brand New Age” did something when I started this process: it made me think about it.

Andy Moon, the creator and lead of The Moon Caravan works in a dreamy soundscape, taking elements of early 80’s dream pop and shoegaze. There’s a galloping percussion that plays nice with distorted guitars and the background synths. The entire piece has this forward motion, which lends itself well to the overall theming that Moon spoke of regarding the piece. In a prior interview, they state that “‘Brand New Age’ is about the idea of death and reincarnation.” From the circular vocals, to the way the song can endlessly loop in the background, the track drips with theming. The sound and message is reminiscent of early Pink Floyd. It’s spacy and psychedelic, but firmly rooted in these circular ideas.

It made me think, as it was looping, about the cycles we get into in work. It made me think about each step in the process of writing, how it can flow into the next, and how it all connects together for that one piece- just to start again. There’s something to the atmosphere around The Moon Caravan’s music that gets the audience thinking- no small part thanks to the dreamy inspirations of Andy Moon and company. Their music will be in the back of my head, as I finish this article and move onto the next.

How many friends and artists have worked on your music in collaboration with The Moon Caravan?

So many it’s hard to count but all collaborations are different, some friends are part of the recording process, some friends are part of the live shows, or music videos, or artwork, etc.

Do you have a certain listening environment in mind for the audience when you make your tracks?

I rarely think about that, but I feel it’s different for every song. My music is not bound by any specific moods, so really each song can be experienced in many different ways. I feel that allowing for the listener to interpret it in a way that works for them is ideal. I’m just happy and flattered when my music resonates with anyone in any situation.

Have you ever felt stifled or impeded by the collaborative style of The Moon Caravan?

Not really, I feel very comfortable working by myself, I’m fact most of my recording and writing is done like that, so collaboration is optional in my creative process. I tend to seek collaboration because I enjoy working with friends and learning from their creative process, but I’m perfectly comfortable writing, recording, performing and producing by myself, so it’s never been an obstacle.

How do you decide what topic to write about when you sit down to create a song?

It depends on what the song is making me feel, but I typically start with the music, and that sound is driven by my own life and emotions. When it’s time to write lyrics I tend to immerse myself in the song and listen to what I feel the music is telling me, so in a way it’s like the songs write themselves and I’m just a facilitator.

How far have you had to travel for a collaboration? Or, is most of your work long distance?

I rarely travel to collaborate, most people will come to my studio and we will hang out and work, this is my favorite way because I get to learn how people I admire work and approach songwriting and/or recording, if someone is far away, collaboration happens remotely, but most of the people that I collaborate this way are lifelong friends, so we have already collaborated in person many times and there’s a lot of implied understanding of our creative process and trust.

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