Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "MANY MOONS has its share of stunning moments, from the Roy Orbison-meets-the-Kinks orchestral title track to the homesick melancholy of the album's catchiest song, 'Northern Highway'..."
Clash (magazine) - "MANY MOONS breezes along in a cloud of jangling melodies, fluttering harmonies and lovely, sun-soaked reverb."
Recording information: Rearhouse and Thump Studios, Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer: Shawn Brackbill.
Following closely on the heels of Real Estate bandmates Matt Mondanile (Ducktails) and Alex Bleeker (Alex Bleeker & the Freaks), bandleader Martin Courtney steps forward with his own 2015 "side project," his first solo album. Not straying far from Real Estate's Atlas issued a year prior, Many Moons is a mellow, psychedelic pop-flavored excursion through jangly guitars and mellifluous reflection. Far from a one-man effort, it features assistance from, among others, Real Estate keyboardist Matt Kallman, drummer Michael Stasiak of like-minded EZTV, and bassist (and EZTV/Ducktails/Alex Bleeker/Real Estate collaborator) Jarvis Taveniere, who produced the album. He brings a sharp, crisp sound to the fat, melodic guitar tones evoking the Beatles and Big Star, pensive vocals, and unshakably dreamy, nostalgic quality of Many Moons. Speaking of dreamy, the record includes the trippy, still sweet-sounding "Asleep," which features guitar, organ, and vocals by lo-fi artist Julian Lynch in tandem with Courtney. Like much of the album, the song struggles to feel the peace of its own swathing, dulcet tones: "Rapid eye/It's so weird to be alive/At the helm and overwhelmed." The album itself never gets contented, either. The surprising and utterly endearing title track, for instance, is a strings-enforced guitar instrumental featuring solo flute on a melody that sounds straight out of 1967 San Francisco -- hard to believe but harder to resist. Other highlights include the harmony- and chord-rich "Vestiges" and mid-career Beatles-haunted "Northern Highway." The album is also notably peppered with sheerly beautiful guitar solos. All told, Many Moons is not only worthwhile for fans of Real Estate and related projects, but for lovers of the honeyed melodies and genial jangle of the pleasantest of power pop. ~ Marcy Donelson