Boston and Rochester-based indie band Coral Moons know just how to please a crowd: charming an audience through lively horn sections doused in surf-pop energy one second, then slow-grooving saxophone soul in the next.
Their blend of a summer festival appeal and a jazz night club aura make for an all around electrifying experience that has you relishing in its magnetism, holding out in its fulfilling state and dreading its departure as soon as each song ends. That is, until a new one of theirs begins, and you’re satisfyingly replenished, flush in that signature fire.
The band, led by vocalist and songstress Carly Kraft along with Manuel Camacho (bass), Justin Bartlett (lead guitar), and Kevin O’Connell (drums) found each other amidst the Stop & Shop corporate office – Kraft and Camacho finding common ground in 70s music influences, while Bartlett and O’Connell were introduced through mutual friends.
From there came the group’s first EP Quarter Life Crisis, a collection of five songs that harbored a sense of panic over late starts and limited time. After much success, especially for the record’s single “Fall In Love” which – by way of vibrant electric riffs and thundering drums – reminisces on a lost love, Coral Moons released their 2020 summer single, “Winnebago,” adorned in rollerskating bliss down an open road and sun-bathing leisure with a cherry popsicle aftertaste that verbally and visually encompasses a midsummer retreat. Thankfully, the track was capable of tying us over for another year before the band dropped a song just in time for 2021’s warm weather rejuvenation.
“Like We Used To” is seasoned with a flavor that hadn’t yet been explored in its absolute capacity by the band, until now. The single leans well into their old-school influences of Etta James and Nina Simone while simultaneously incorporating modern elements of rippling synths and propulsive guitar. The real highlight, though, is the resounding saxophone arrangement that gives the song that extra ‘oomph’ into uncharted territory.
It may seem – to their fans’ utmost delight – that this latest release was intended to be a preface for Coral Moons’ new album, Fieldcrest, which dropped August 6th.
What Kraft has described it as “the positive aftermath of Quarter Life Crisis,” the record, which is titled after the street the frontwoman grew up on, follows a familiar theme of time, but less as a form of anxiety and more like a nostalgic embrace before decisively letting go. The band has been in the thick of touring this summer in an effort to promote the new album and to properly connect with their supporters and soon-to-be supporterts once again.
Whether “Like We Used To” is representative of Fieldcrest as a whole, or simply a small sample taken from a much larger landscape, we can only find out if we take a listen.
So that’s just what we did.