Meet Me at the Moon – Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers
With the release of Meet Me at the Moon, Emma Hill and her Gentlemen Callers travel further down the dusty road from the folk pop inclination of last year’s Clumsy Seduction to delve ever deeper into the roots of country music. Along the way, the band solidifies into a cohesive unit. No longer are Her Gentlemen Callers (in the running for best ever band name) mere backup musicians; on Meet Me at the Moon they have become essential partners, a move that is reflected on the album cover where Her Gentlemen Callers get artist billing.
The genuine country feel of Meet Me at the Moon is due in no small part to the sweetly weeping steel pedal, the gentle touch of banjo. Emma Hill’s rich smokey voice, always a powerful force of nature, melds seamlessly with Her Gentlemen Callers’ crying guitars, poignant banjo and soulful keyboards on these melodies of love and hurt, hope and uncertainty. This is an album that shows great respect for authentic country music, paying homage to the pioneers of Americana, interspersed with touches of alt-country. For every Johnny and June reference, there is an echo of Cowboy Junkies or Neko Case’s Furnace Room Lullaby.
Meet Me at the Moon is both steeped in tradition and full of discovery. From the toe-tapping infectiousness of Gold Stars All Around, to the irresistible old-school country singalong of All That Might Have Been, to the beautifully restrained bittersweet longing of Which Way to Go, the album is chockablock with nuggets that keep drawing you back for another listen.
I’ll Never Be Her builds wonderfully from a torch song to a dark climax of guitar and piano, a perfect showcase for the impressive level of talent within this band. The slowly seductive You’re My Man is the ultimate tribute to Leonard Cohen, masterfully channeling the poet’s muse in its sultry flow. And since no Emma Hill album would be complete without something entirely unexpected, the addition of Capture Your Heart turns the finale on its head, as it free-forms its way back to the jazz era.
With Meet Me at the Moon, Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers build on the strengths of their previous album, Clumsy Seduction, and continue their ascent through the ranks of emerging artists toward wider recognition.