OLD MOON is the solo project of New Hampshire based musician Tom Weir. Weir seamlessly blends elements of post-punk, classic indie, and shoegaze to create a sound that is immediately familiar without falling prey to genre tropes. Weir began recording music as Old Moon in the winter of 2019 and has since put out multiple acclaimed releases including the EP Past Lives, his debut album Altars, and the compilation tape Dreamer, Sleeper.
Where Old Moon’s debut LP Altars was a descent into a swirling, gloomy world; his new album Cities of the Plain (out today, via à La Carte Records) exists in the clear light of day where guitars chime brightly behind Weir’s introspective vocals.
Cities of the Plain was written and recorded by Tom Weir with additional drum engineering from Todd Whitehead at Up North Studios. The album was mixed by Shaun Durkan (Soft Kill, Weekend) and mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios.
To celebrate today’s release, we have teamed up with Tom to ask him about his current non musical (and musical) influences. Swipe down to check it out.
“‘Soma’ is a move towards a cleaner, brighter Old Moon sound and the first song that I wrote after finishing up my previous record Altars last year,” said Weir about the album’s opener.
“It’s about trying to find a path forward even when the future is unclear and about weeding out the things in my life that were dragging me down. I worked with Shaun Durkan again for the mix on this song, and I love the way it came out so differently than the songs on Altars while still occupying a similar sonic space.”
OLD MOON’s (non)musical inspirations:
Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations
Rimbaud is one of my all time favorite poets, and I think the prose poems in Illuminations are especially good. My friend John gave me this book years ago when we were living in NYC, and it was a super important book to me when I was in my 20s. I’ve been revisiting it a lot recently. The language is super rich and there’s a sense of mysticism and darkness among all the beauty that I just love.
I go through ups and downs with running, and have had both good and bad relationships with it over the years. I have a tendency to take things too far and at a few points in my life previously I was fairly compulsive with my approach to running and ended up getting injured or burnt out. Recently I’ve been trying to keep things low key and use trail running as a way to reset my brain and check out from everything going on in the world. I live surrounded by woods and trails so I have a lot of opportunities to get out onto the trails right near my home.
The DIIV Podcast
In my mind DIIV can do no wrong, and I think their record Deceiver from 2019 is their best. Cole and Andrew’s approach to guitar has been a big influence for me over the years; simple, clean, and repetitive yet never boring. Their podcast is great too. They only did like 10 episodes but it’s super fun to listen to, each one takes a deep dive into the bands that influenced them – Slowdive, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Television, etc.
I stopped drinking alcohol last summer, and it has totally transformed how I feel, the way I approach the world, and my interactions with other people. I’ve had some bad times with drinking over the years, and recently I found that it was doing nothing to help my mental health – if anything it was only making me feel worse. The clarity I’ve had since stopping has been great, I feel energized about songwriting and more at home with myself and my feelings than ever before.
Listening to electronic music and hip hop
Recently I’ve been feeling pretty burnt out and bored by guitar based music. There are some bands that I still spend a lot of time listening to (Weekend, JAMC, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, DIIV, Tom Petty) and some new hardcore artists (see below) that I’ve been into but otherwise in terms of new music I feel a lot more energized by electronic and hip hop production right now than by guitar bands. I feel like there are so many directions that producers are going in that are just sonically much more interesting to me than what is happening with guitar bands. I’ve been loving Jacques Greene and Daniel Avery, and have been trying to explore similar producers with that deep/ambient sound. I also really dig the New York and UK drill scenes in hip hop right now.
I feel like we’re in a new golden age of hardcore right now and I’m really digging it. Gel, Spy, Destiny Bond, and Zulu are some recent favorites of mine. I love seeing these bands pushing boundaries and helping create a more cool and inclusive scene.