“If we had one real stroke of luck with this group, it was meeting each other,” says Half Moon Run’s Conner Molander. Now going on ten years together, the Montreal indie band is deep in the final push of their third album, and the temptation to look forward is as risky as the lure of looking back. Molander seems sanguine. He pauses, then adds, “But if you have a bit of luck it’s your responsibility to put in the work. It would be impossible to live with ourselves if we weren’t devoted to it, to working on it.”
Half Moon Run’s had their share of lightning-strike luck to live up to. The band came together in 2009 in Montreal’s Mile End, when Molander and Dylan Phillips—students and recent transplants from Vancouver Island—connected with Devon Portielje, who was fresh out of Ottawa. (In mid- 2012 they tapped a third Comox-born musician, Isaac Symonds, to intensify their live show.)
From the outset, the group’s lingua franca was music: practicing, composing, jamming. All four members are multi-instrumentalists and all four are vocalists: Portielje sings lead, but he also plays guitar, piano, and percussion; Molander sings and plays guitar, keyboard, piano, pedal steel, bass, and harmonica; Phillips sings and plays drums, piano and keyboard; and Symonds sings and plays drums, mandolin, synth, and bass.