Local folk/roots music trio Red Moon Road is set to release their second full-length album, Sorrows and Glories, at the West End Cultural Centre on Friday, Sept. 11, prior to embarking on a three-month cross-country tour of North America.
Red Moon Road consists of vocalist/occasional percussionist and keyboardist Sheena Rattai, guitarist/occasional vocalist and percussionist Daniel Jordan, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner. Sorrows and Glories is an album exemplary of the band’s consistent work ethic, as it arrives approximately two years after the band’s prior release, the Tales from the Whiteshell EP, which was also released just two years after the band unveiled their self-titled debut in 2011.
“We’re always excited to play new songs and write more music, so I think it’s been an accidental pattern of work for us, based on our creative output and returning to the same fans and thinking they deserve new music,” Rattai told the Manitoban when asked about the band’s apparent pattern of releases.
Though the band’s pattern of touring and releasing material so regularly might seem routine to some, Red Moon Road’s music has lost no spontaneity. Between the addition of new instruments and the gradual increase of production value on each release, the band has always managed to find something new to differentiate their current sound from that of their back catalogue.
Tales From the Whiteshell added some sparse electric guitar on songs such as “Wash Over Me” to fill out the earthy, bare-bones acoustic tones capably presented on Red Moon Road’s self-titled debut. Sorrows and Glories increases the density of the group’s sound once again, adding piano flourishes, lap steel lines that swell and fall with Rattai’s voice, and a still-minimalistic electric guitar, albeit one that now occupies nearly as much sonic space as its acoustic counterpart.
“I think a lot of it has to do with [producer/engineer David Travers-Smith’s] touches. He brought a lot of subtle nuances to the album and brought out a lot of richness from each song,” Rattai said.
Rattai went on to state that although Sorrows and Glories may have evolved into an elaborate work with varied instrumentation on each track, the group had initially set out to keep things simple, with the intention of perfectly duplicating the album’s arrangements in a live setting, while still retaining their original dynamic as a three-piece.
“That’s what we’re doing right now to prepare for the release,” said Rattai.
“I’m like, ‘okay, how can I play the snare drum on this song while Daniel [Jordan] plays the bass drum there?’ while Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner is jumping from the mandolin to the organ […] It’s been an adventure,” Rattai said.
To promote the upcoming release, Red Moon Road has released a live-in-studio video of the album’s first single, “Beauty in These Broken Bones.” The video features a massive choir comprised of friends and fellow musicians singing along to the powerful, gospel-influenced track.
“We just sent out a big message to all of our favourite singers, and they were all super gung-ho and really excited. We just pulled them into the studio, taught them the song right then – they’d never heard it before – and we banged it out in two takes,” Rattai said of the song, which was inspired by a severe broken leg she suffered nearly two years ago.
On Sept. 11, Red Moon Road will be joined at the West End Cultural Centre by two hand-picked opening acts: local folk duo The Small Glories and Albertan songwriter Matt Patershuk, both of whom Rattai wholeheartedly described to the Manitoban as “so super great” and “impeccable.”
“It’s just going to be a really great party, and we hope everyone comes out. We can’t wait to share this new material with everyone.”