Album Review: “Beneath a Yellow Moon” by I Have a Tribe

Beneath a Yellow Moon is the debut record from Dublin, Ireland’s always-smiling, heavily-bearded, passionate poet-of-a-musician, Patrick O’Laoghaire. His musical project goes by the name I Have a Tribe and after two EPs, he has released an 11 song full length, heavily decorated with intimate vocals, gorgeous piano and undeniably impassioned lyricism. O’ Laoghaire’s voice is simple but perfectly on pitch, his vibrato fluttering high above. His voice is playful, his Irish accent exposing itself now and then, and his enunciation is immaculate; no word is in question. He speaks like a true poet, his words are the center of his songs and the English language his tool.  His lyrics are sharp, witty, smart and perfectly executed. They are surrounded by building, swirling instrumentals that stack upon each other. Every song ends somewhere higher, somewhere bigger and more beautiful than its beginning. Every track is the song for a separate story. Each song speaks to the listener so individually, as if each one is the theme song to a different short film.




This record took me by complete surprise. After being introduced to his single “Cold Fact”, I was instantly a fan but this song is more subdued than many of the other pieces on his record. So, upon my first listen to Beneath a Yellow Moon, I was shocked by the rich, cinematic composure of every track. The opening cut, “Passage”, is an honest, transparent piece about growing up, being frustrated, throwing in the towel, questioning everything but having no shame and moving on. The following track, “La Neige”, is equally as beautiful. He plays with harmonies, layering husky vocals upon each other, gospel harmonies hang hauntingly in the background amidst O’ Laoghaire’s fantastical instrumental organization. Over and over again he repeats, each time with more fire:
I’m lost for words, when this occurs,

Through the seasons, reveals the reasons.

 The song finishes with one simple, stunning statement:

 Take the right to be human.

If one was to listen to one song on this record to get an idea of who O’ Laoghaire is as a musician, it would be “Battle Hardened Pacifist.” It’s the perfect example of how he plays with his words and how he uses the power of instruments to make them more meaningful. The song rises and falls again and again, taking the listener on what I now understand to be the typical zealous-rich musical ride that O’ Laoghaire creates.



Then there is the 9 minute ballad, “Casablanca”, in which the cornerstone lyric appropriately is:

Here’s looking at you, kid.

O’ Laoghaire’s voice reaches such a level of passion, it almost completely disappears, a sweet piano melody tinkers along until the very end. In this song and others, you hear traces of the non-musical aspects of playing the piano: the sound of the keys when they are pressed, the pedal creaking. These qualities bring another level of honesty to his music.

This record is an absolutely glorious celebration of music and poetry. They are weaved together in such a way; it is not possible to pull them apart. Beneath a Yellow Moon was released October 14th on Groenland Records and is available for purchase on iTunes and via Groenland Records.


Gorgeous music video from Mitski: “A Burning Hill”

The video captures the gorgeous simplicity that hides the intense complexity of her message in “A Burning Hill.” The track is the conlucding song on her newest record, Puberty 2 which came out in June on Dead Oceans. The emotion you see in her face in the video is real, as real as the lyrics that gently trickle out of her.

“Today I will wear my white button down

I’m tired of wanting more

I think I’m finally worn.”

This song is a sigh of relief, acceptance of reality and embrace of the state of things. About the music video Mitski says:

The director and I spent a weekend just driving around New York and Pennsylvania while the camera kept running, and most of the time I’d forget I was being filmed. It felt like a vacation, but it was also quite emotional, as I was thinking about the song and what it means to me now while jumping in rivers and driving down dirt lanes.” — Mitski


Mitski’s tour kicks off on October 31st and you can find Puberty 2 on iTunes and directly from Dead Oceans’ website.

Mon. Oct. 31 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre – SOLD OUT
Tue. Nov. 1 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Thu. Nov. 3 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
Fri. Nov. 4 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Bag
Sat. Nov. 5 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Sun. Nov. 6 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
Thu. Nov. 10 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
Fri. Nov. 11 – Orlando, FL @ Back Booth
Sat. Nov. 12 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
Sun. Nov. 13 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
Tue. Nov. 15 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
Wed. Nov. 16 – Durham, NC @ Motorco
Thu. Nov. 17 – Charlottesville, VA @ Southern Café
Fri. Nov. 18 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat – SOLD OUT
Sat. Nov. 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church – SOLD OUT
Mon. Nov. 21 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall – SOLD OUT
Tue. Nov. 22 – Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel – SOLD OUT
Tue. Feb. 21 – Paris, FR @ Les Etoiles
Wed. Feb. 22 – Switzerland, CH @ Mascotte
Fri. Feb. 24 – Bologna, IT @ Covo Club
Sat. Feb. 25 – Munich, DE @ Milla
Sun. Feb. 26 – Vienna, AT @ B72
Mon. Feb. 27 – Prague, CZ @ MeetFactory
Tue. Feb. 28 – Berlin, DE @ Postbahnhof
Thu. Mar. 2 – Utrecht, NL @ Ekko
Fri. Mar. 3 – Brussels, BE @ Rotonde, Botanique
Sat. Mar. 4 – Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
Mon. Mar. 6 – London, UK @ Village Underground
Tue. Mar. 7 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Thu. Mar. 9 – Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
Fri. Mar. 10 – Edinburgh, UK @ Electric Circus
Sat. Mar. 11 – Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny

Music Video Playlist: Sites and Sounds of Fall

Since I can’t include all of the wonderful music o that sits in my inbox in my Soundcloud playlits, I have created playlists on YouTube. I highly recommend you take a moment now and then to check out the music videos and let your eyes AND ears enjoy what’s happening.

Playlist: New Season, New Songs

With the change in season comes new music. I hope you enjoy it.


Interview: Luke Roberts

Luke Roberts is a musician, father, traveller and man of few words. In so few words he can convey an immense message. Similarly, his music does the same. It is rich, supple, stratified and stunning. His search for somewhere began at a young age. He began a habit of trainhopping which he has somewhat continued into his adulthood spending time everywhere from Paradise Valley, MT (near my home of Bozeman, MT) to Kenya (where his latest record, Sunlit Cross, was born). I hope you enjoy Luke’s answers to my questions as much as I did. They are beautiful, just like his music.

MFL: It sounds like throughout your life you have found peace in never settling down, always looking for the one place you fit in. Have found the place you were looking for? And, is truly a “place” or is your “place” being in constant motion?

 Luke Roberts (LR): The thing I’m looking for is the thing that’s looking. 

MFL: I read that you spent some time in a trailer in Montana. Being a Montana native myself, I’d love to hear about this experience in as much detail as you’re willing to share. I grew up in Missoula and have been in Bozeman for the last 10 years. It’s a beautiful state! I hope you had a positive experience here.

 LR: I just like the mountains out there a lot. I lived in a mobile home in Paradise Valley, near you. And in the parks. I had two cats that followed me around everywhere and I was kind of lonesome. I worked in an Italian restaurant to save enough money to leave and play some shows when my second record came out. 

MFL: How old were you when you started train hopping and was music part of your life at this point?

 LR: I was 11. I liked hair metal at that point.

MFL: How did you choose your geographical destinations? Did music dictate these choices or did your location dictate your music? Perhaps both?

 LR: I had no idea where to go so I just guessed. I went to Florida and New Orleans. It was pretty random.

MFL: Has any one place you travelled tugged at you more than the others? Is it difficult to extricate yourself from these places or is there always a right time to leave?

LR: I always go back to Nashville and New York. Now I just call my family home. 



MFL: What was it about Kenya that made it the birthplace for Sunlit Cross and where does the name of your album come from?

LR: The people in Africa reminded me of what music can be.

MFL: The pedal steel appears multiple times on this album. What is it about this instrument that is appealing to you? What does it add to your music?

 LR: John Neff plays it beautifully on the songs that call for it.

MFL: How did Kurt Vile end up on Sunlit Cross and is there anyone else special you’d like to credit on the record?

LR: I met him online. I played him the track and he wanted to sing on it. 



MFL: The songs on this record are stunning. “Untitled Blues” is a gorgeous piece with a sense of lament while “Silver Chain” has a sense of adventure, train hopping if you will, about it. I love the harmonies, lyricism and the thoughtfulness within each song. Does each song stand alone or are they all connected by a common thread? If there is a connection, what sews them together?

 LR: I like that question. I’m not sure what it is but the meaning of it all will change over time.

MFL: Pick one track on this record and break it apart. What were you doing when you wrote it? What were your surroundings? What is the song about? Who are the characters? Are they real or fiction? Etc.

LR: The album came together right after my son was born. My attitude changed and I decided to put music out again. I wanted my son to have music to go to sleep to and know his dad with. And in case I die too soon I wanted to show him how to be an artist. And a storyteller. 


Thank you Luke for answering my long-winded questions and thank you to Pitch Perfect and Stephanie Bauman for connecting us for the interview. Sunlit Cross is due out October 14th on Thrill Jockey and can be pre-ordered on iTunes now.

Photo Credit: Andrea Behrends


Interview: Nick Hertzberg, Like-Minded

Nick Hertzberg is the man behind many music-related projects. Not only has he participated in multiple bands but he also has been developing his own record label called Deplorable Sounds. The band he devotes the most time to now is called, Like-Minded. I had the opportunity to ask Nick some questions about Like-Minded, its members and other aspects of their lives.

MFL: I love the history behind Like-Minded. It sounds like all of you were connected in some way or another throughout the years before you started Like-Minded. How has this relationship between band mates shaped your music?

 Nick Hertzberg (NH): While we all came from different musical backgrounds, our established relationships with each other helped build the foundation for the band in so many ways. This has allowed us to be open to new ideas regarding our music and gives us the opportunity to speak freely to each other about all of the other “logistical” stuff no one really likes talking about in bands. From album design ideas, to show bookings and everything else in-between, we feel it is easier to come to a consensus and be “real” with the people you have an extra closeness to.

MFL: What genre would you classify your music as? Or if you prefer, list a few bands you think you sound like.

 NH: This is the question we always ::sigh:: to when we are asked it, but it is mostly our fault. By giving a listen to our first EP, you can tell our influences are all over the place and hence every song sounds a little bit different. People have told us we sound like Hop Along, Slingshot Dakota, Tigers Jaw and other modern female fronted bands, but we think those comparisons can be a little too “easy” to make sometimes. As a band, we feel we hear a blues/alternative influence in our sound, and play what many identify as “sad songs” because it’s what we like to write. We are working on concentrating our wide sonic pallet to be more deliberately paced and focused, yet to include new musical elements as well.



 MFL: Tell me who each band member is and what they contribute to the sound of Like-Minded.

NH: Ryan Mortola is the drummer of Like-Minded, and thus the rhythmic driver and backbone of the songs. He is also the muscle. Cait Darcy is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the band and laces all of our tunes with her beautifully sad lyrics and melodies. She contributes heavily to the structure of the songs and talks to people when the boys are too scared to. Nick Hertzberg is the lead guitarist, backing vocalist and now keyboardist of the band. Nick typically writes most of the basic structures of the songs and does a great deal of the design and promotional work. He makes all of the “dad jokes” (jokes that only dads would find funny) at our shows.

MFL: You mentioned that Cait is finishing her teaching education (what will she be teaching?). What do the rest of the Like-Minded members do besides music (if anything!)?

 NH: As of this December, Cait will be certified in K-6 and Middle School science and ELA. In her free time, she enjoys photography, cats and the outdoors. Ryan just moved into a new place with his girlfriend Katie and just got a promotion at his job in sales. When he isn’t practicing or playing music, he is listening to it or out seeing it at other shows. Nick works in dental marketing, which is just as fun as it sounds. He is trying to pursue a full-time position in a more creative outlet and enjoys writing, design and being absorbed in a hundred musical projects at once.

MFL: Are all of you from New Jersey originally or did your paths merge from elsewhere?

NH: We are all pretty much lifers…up to this point. Ryan bounced around a few towns in south Jersey growing up and spent some time in Boston too for a few years. Cait grew up in Manahawkin and lived in Egg Harbor Township before moving in with Nick in Forked River. Nick lived on Long Beach Island for 27 years, though even with Hurricane Sandy blowing through, never became a beach kid. All of the band is looking to relocate near and/or potentially far in the next year or so. Time will tell.

 MFL: Tell me a bit about your label, Deplorable Sounds. How and when did it begin? How do you decide what bands to support? What extra duties come with running a label compared to being a musician yourself?

NH: I started Deplorable Sounds about 3 years ago to be a single place that I could host a slew of my solo and side projects I was working on at that point. Besides my main project at the time (These Branches), I had about 3 side bands with very different sounding albums that I knew really wouldn’t ever be performed live. I created the label to collect all of these efforts in one domain and not start 15 different Bandcamp or Facebook pages. I have been lucky enough to work with some close friends in a variety of these projects- but have not had the opportunity to release someone else’s music yet really, though I am always looking to collaborate with new artists. The label also started out as purely digital, but I have started to release more and more cassette tapes, as time and money allows. I have plans to continue that and maybe even release some limited Lathe Cuts in the coming years. I have been releasing my own music in some way, shape or form since I was 13 years old- so “branding it” just made sense. It takes a lot to promote and design for releases besides just recording and writing them, but I find it all equally as gratifying. 

 MFL: Where would you like to see Like-Minded in one year’s time?

 NH: With Cait having finished college at that point, the possibilities will be (more or less) endless. We plan on having our new two-song single out in the next few months and shopping it to some record labels. We are also planning on doing maybe a small 5-7 day East Coast tour in the New Year too. Ultimately, and hopefully, by this time next year we will have released another EP or be in the midst of the recording of an LP (there are about 25 song demos sitting and waiting on our computer right now) with a label we love and then supporting it in any way that we can.

MFL: Can each band member list two or three bands/musicians who have influenced them musically?

Ryan:  O’Brother, Aeges, Balance and Composure.

Cait: Johnny Cash, Ray LaMontagne, Hop Along, Fiona Apple. 

Nick: Jonny Greenwood, Chris Walla, Efrim Menuck, Ian MacKaye (we share a birthday). 

MFL: When Like-Minded plays live, what do you hope the audience to get out of your shows? What do you as a band hope to get out of your show?

NH: We only could hope to provoke or stir some sort of thought or emotion in an audience member when we perform live. We put a good amount of time into the crafting of our songs, so it is a huge payoff when someone comes up to quote a lyric back and ask about it, or asks about some guitar pedal nuance or drum fill. In a day when it is so easy to passively listen and be disengaged at shows, those interactions are still alive and priceless. For us, the shows are usually a catharsis. We typically can only play on the weekends so it is nice to release the tension of the week by putting all we have into a 25-minute set. Also, being able to talk to people afterward, network, exchange ideas- that is what we hope happens at every show.  

MFL: Finally, tell us a little about your upcoming two-song single! How did your session in the home studio go this past weekend?

 NH: With everyone’s schedules being so packed at the moment- we, unfortunately, have had less time than we anticipated to write a follow-up to our EP, which we released this past January. With the state of music being what it is today, we know you have to release music semi-frequently to stay on an audience’s radar- but we wouldn’t dream of sacrificing quality to just put new tunes out. With that said, we opted to release two songs we have been developing for the last few months that were pretty much wrapped up and we have been playing live instead of trying to finish another EP at the moment. We have always done our own recording, but this was the first time we have done it in a “mobile” setting. Nick brought his equipment to Ryan’s house to track drums since he and Cait’s apartment is a little too small for that. We will wrap guitars, vocals, and keyboards at the main home studio in the coming weeks. We will then mix, master and send the release out to a few labels we respect, see if it catches their ears or interests. Sonically, the songs are a bit more concentrated than the EP. You can see and hear them being on an album and running in the same lineage as some of our other songs, like “The Moon Won’t Set” and “Get Sick.” In one of the two songs we also have piano as the main component, which, with electronic samples and other new tools, are just a few of the elements we will be introducing more and more into our ever-expanding musical repertoire.  

Thank you Nick and the others of Like-Minded for giving some time to Music For Lunch! Be sure to check Like-Minded’s Bandcamp, Website and Facebook page for updates.




Introducing, Billy Moon: “Roads” + music video

Billy Moon is what this creative singer/songwriter from Hamilton, ON calls himself. It’s the name he gave himself when he felt like he was literally the only person on the planet. Billy Moon was the constant companion when he felt like he could not figure out for the life of him why he didn’t fit in anywhere. About his first years at university he says:

“The whole time I was convinced that I was too negative, that I wasn’t fun enough, that I needed to lighten up and  that I had to fit in. Fuck, I felt like I was 7 years old again except this time I was going to do it right.”

Billy Moon’s EP, That Which You Can’t Throw Away, came out this past April and recently he released the music video for the EP’s closing track, “Roads.” The video is simple but totally absurd. He sits in a speedo, covered in a bath robe outside an RV while strange cartoons play. Somehow it works. It works flawlessly with the track. “Roads” opens with a drum machine and a growling 90s gararge rock guitar riff. His simple vocals and clever lyrics perfectly describe Billy Moon himself. The track blossoms into a true catchy-ass pop-garage track at the chorus.

He says this about the music video for “Roads”:

“My new video for ‘Roads’ can be summed up as if Ryan Lochte went to Burning Man but no one wanted to hang out with him.”

He clearly has a sense of humor and it’s fantastic.


You can catch Billy Moon touring with Walrus starting next week and can find his EP on Bancamp.

Sept 29: Sudbury – Townehouse
Sept 30: Sault Ste Marie – Lop Lops
Oct 1: Thunder Bay – Foundry
Oct 4: Winnipeg – The Handsome Daughter
Oct 5: Regina – O’Halons
Oct 6: Saskatoon – Vangelis Tavern
Oct 7: Calgary – Broken City
Oct 8: Edmonton – Up+Dt Festival – Brixx
Oct 20: Toronto – The Horseshoe w/ The Pack A.D