This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Half Moon Run

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“(…) while the biggest buzz around the festival was for Montreal trio Half Moon Run.”

Mark Monahan, Director of the Ottawa Bluesfest, interviewed by the Ottawa Sun

"Their minimal but textured rock had real dynamics. It had hooks. They looked and sounded a bit like Girls. It was buzz heaven, the sinews on everyone’s necks bulged as they were juiced with pure buzz, and Half Moon Run were borne aloft through the streets to be crowned Buzz Kings Of The Festival." - Gavin Haynes, NME

“Comfortably seated at the bar, I went from casually listening to this unknown opening band, to being completely wrapped up in their performance in a matter of minutes. Their sound was kind of tough to describe. The Radiohead influence is obvious, but there is so much more to these guys; like a pervasive soulfulness that emerges every time lead singer Devon Dunn-Portielje opens his mouth and little flourishes of extremely catchy synth pop here and there.”

Half Moon Run is a talented young trio based in Montreal, Canada. Devon Portielje, from Ottawa (On), met Conner Molander and Dylan Phillips, from Comox (BC), through a mutual friend and an ad on CraigsList in 2009.

After some hasty line-up changes the band in its current form was born, tied to the walls of a sweaty room in Montreal's mile-end district. It was there through the hardships of time constraints and flatlined bank accounts that the trio bonded and created their unique sound, fusing together the restless elements of indie, pop and folk with beautiful rhythmic harmonies, delicate guitar lines and a hint of warm electronica.

Aged 20-25 years old, but armed with solid training and raw talent, they combine varied musical backgrounds, often trading instruments and multitasking to great effect. Their increasingly complex arrangements are probably best explained by seeing them live. Portielje’s vocals are on a level rarely seen in the indie music scene and are backed up superbly by Molander and Phillips. Phillips often plays drums and keys simultaneously as Molander and Portielje shuffle between guitar, keys, samplers, and percussion. Folky three-part harmonies hold down moody, psychedelic arrangements and electronic-infused soundscapes.

Although together for less than two years, the band has quickly caught the ear of programmers and tastemakers. The trio wowed audiences at Transmission, CMW and M for Montreal in 2011, opened for indie-electro-pop duet Phantogram and were proclaimed "biggest buzz around the festival" by Ottawa Bluesfest Director Mark Monahan; as well as "Buzz Kings Of The (M for Montreal) Festival" by NME.

2012 kicks off with invitations to CMW, SXSW and the Great Escape in the UK. Half Moon Run is currently finalising the recording of their debut album to be released in Canada in late March 2012. They will then begin an extended tour playing in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and China.

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