Album Review: “Fieldcrest” by Coral Moons

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Coral Moons pay homage to the past with their latest album, Fieldcrest.

Coral Moons’ new album Fieldcrest is a curation spanning many different emotions. It acts as an extension of their first EP, Quarter Life Crisis, featuring slow, emotional songs dripping with nostalgia and upbeat, playful songs that are easy to sing along with. Both releases look at the theme of age and aging, according to lead singer Carly Kraft, with Fieldcrest looking back on her earlier years and growing older. “It’s almost a eulogy to my old self, loves, and overall life,” says Kraft. This album is the retro-rock band’s first since their formation in 2018.

Recording the album during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the band had to overcome many obstacles, but it also led to new opportunities: because nothing was set in stone heading into studio sessions, they could experiment more with their songs. The band even wrote three songs on the album in the studio between recordings. 

The indie-rock jam “I Feel Alive” starts with a whisper as Kevin O’Connell and Justin Bartlett weave the drum and guitar lines together, creating a rhythmic cushion for Kraft’s voice to land on. Manuel Camacho’s bass seems to sing along with Kraft as she belts out each verse, “I have been caught in a lie a few times now that I am a city girl living a city life.”  The song shares the styling of indie-pop darling Phoebe Bridgers: both incorporate well-composed lyrics accompanied by simple instrumentals. 

Fieldcrest manages to capture an array of styles, traveling from blues to pop and retro rock, pulling inspiration from Brittany Howard, Faye Webster, Samia, and Sharon Van Etten. “Winnebago” breaks the band’s traditional rock sound, adding a horn line that highlights the bouncy instrumentation featured on the track reminiscent of late-career Amy Winehouse. “Winnebago” lives up to its name, a lively song that leaves you drumming along with O’Connell.

In “For You,” Kraft flexes her skills as a lyricist, singing with true longing: “If I could give you everything / a reason for your happiness / I could fix it all.” Line after line, Kraft reaches out for a person drifting away, spinning promises to have them stay. “For You” features lighter instrumentation, with O’Connell playing the keys and Bartlett on acoustic guitar mixing with Kraft’s poetic lyrics to form a beautiful lullaby about love and devotion.   

Coral Moons wrap up the album on a more somber note with their title track “Fieldcrest.” The band identified the track as one they are most proud of having written in the studio. “The song paints a picture of my old life and ends with an emotional epilogue,” says  Kraft, as the song discusses her childhood and life before the band. “Times were simple in a paradise / No one knew how much we’d miss it when we got old,” sings Kraft. O’Connell’s bass drum provides a slow and steady heartbeat punctuated by short bass and guitar chords that accentuate Kraft’s nostalgic performance.

Fieldcrest is a delightful album, mixing deep emotional tracks with catchy indie-pop tunes. Coral Moons show a resounding skill for telling stories through song and raising a wave of nostalgia for their listeners.

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