A song can sound like a feeling, an emotion or a place. A rhythm can read like a memory and a simple sound can take you back to a moment you wish to remember forever, or one you wish to forget. Music is built to shape a mood, to create a longing or design a hope. Moor Hound, a folk project created by Bloomington, Indiana’s Steve Marino, is delicately crafting sounds of riddled heartbreak in a peaceful haze of understanding.
You’ve convinced me to stick around
Take me through every bar in town
I wouldn’t mind
If you don’t drag me along
I’ll start smoking cigarettes
And drinking one more than I should have
I’ll spend my pay
To go out late on weeknights
Listen: “Happy All At Once” – Moor Hound
Atwood Magazine is proud to premiere “Happy All At Once” before the release of Moor Hound’s sophomore album Green (out 2/14/2017 via Darling Recordings).
“Happy All At Once” is an acoustic melody formed on the concept of confusion in the undecided path of a relationship. Lyrics like “We can’t be happy all at once, love won’t always leave you satisfied,” echo bittersweet emotion when concluding that the love may be better lost than led down a road indulging in temporary happiness.
What makes the track so alluring is its intimate, acoustic aura. Acoustic tracks can project a transparent feel, showing every flaw and misstep in construction. “Happy All At Once” shows no signs of misdirection, but fosters an environment in itself, something difficult to achieve with a simple guitar tune.
The song sounds like a rainy day. Each guitar strum feels full, rather than distant and hollow. Marino’s voice holds a familiar warmth, though not reminiscent of common artists. The pieces together are the pillars of the song, which comes across with comfort, a track that sounds like home.
This comfort could be considered contradictory to the message, detailing a consideration to flee, but instead of misguiding listeners with mixed emotions disguised in balminess, the difference works in the song’s favor. The cozy sound speaks for the confidence of the narrator in leaving behind an unworthy love. It predicts the outcome of the dilemma without lyrically revealing a decision.
Moor Hound can be considered a powerhouse in rainy day tracks, provoking relaxing feelings and well-constructed, simple songs. Already released singles from Green, “Scrapbook” and “Bored In Love” present similar situations to “Happy All At Once.”
“Bored In Love” is reminiscent of “Happy All At Once” in its relaxed, acoustic sound. It seems to be stripped past that of “Happy All At Once” due to simple, routine strumming. The track puts a spotlight on Marino’s vocals, which hold their own in a living-room concert way. They hold personal and inviting as if Marino was performing the song for no more than a few friends.
“Scrapbooks” is built with more production than the tracks mentioned above. The track still focuses heavily on guitar and Marino’s intimate vocals, but sounds more dimensional due to layered vocals and an added piano base.
Moor Hound has displayed in “Happy All At Once,” and the pre-released singles, that the project is built on a foundation on intimacy and contentment. While the messages hold deep-rooted emotion, the sounds craft no unsettled emotions, making even the most heartbreaking messages sound bearable and necessary.
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cover: Moor Hound © 2017