Moon Moon Moon – Silly Symphonies
"Running away from a party, getting into a car crash and falling into a coma where animals dance and rip their skins off, accompanied by old distorted Disney soundtracks while facing loss and love right in the face. In other words, just another album by Moon Moon Moon.” - Mark Lohmann
Moon Moon Moon’s upcoming album Silly Symphonies isn’t merely a collection of songs. These are vivid scenes, with field recordings, recurring motifs and sounds acting out specific characters, each with their own little arc and within a bigger unfolding universe. Some names have been altered for dramatic purposes, but as a whole, Silly Symphonies – named after a series of Disney shorts from the 1930s – is as disarmingly intimate and personal as anything the band has released.
Since recording under the moniker Moon Moon Moon, Mark Lohmann has been known for his bold, endlessly witty, and shockingly sincere bedroom folk. Initially, Lohmann’s homespun songs channeled feelings of alienation and desire in abstract fashion, drawing comparisons to artists such as Phil Elverum, Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst and Elliott Smith. After years of prolific writing and recording independently, Moon Moon Moon’s whole creative approach shifted with Lohmann’s self-described journal entries. These free-form songs became sanctuaries for his most uncomfortable, embarrassing and impulsive thoughts. Each entry was recorded in the single day, accompanied by lyric videos adorned by Lohmann’s often macabre, whimsical animations.
Subjects varied from Animal Crossing, Stranger Things to Emma Stone, with Lohmann stumbling from wry observations into deeper reflections with wholesome abandon. To his own surprise, the disarming honesty of these journal entries helped Moon Moon Moon gain a bigger audience. Suddenly, this shy self-effacing, bedroom recording artist was striking a much bigger nerve. From here on out, it made sense for Lohmann to expand Moon Moon Moon as a full collaborative project.
The bulk of Silly Symphonies was developed with arranger/keyboard player Stef Koenis: other than the grainy Disney Soundtracks, the duo found mutual inspiration in iconic film composers such as Danny Elfman and John Williams. By marrying Lohmann’s more abstract recording instincts with Koenis’s gift for symphonic arrangements, Moon Moon Moon became an audiovisual, world-building entity. The music originated with both of them having specific images in their heads: they gathered compatible images on Pinterest that inspired a a storybook-like backdrop for Lohmann’s real-life trials and tribulations. Each song unfurled like a detail-filled set piece with recurring sound and melodies surfacing and retreating as sentient characters, with the music “Mickey Mousing” certain moods and actions.