Constellations by Meredith Moon leaves us wanting more.
Release date: 21st April 2023
Label: True North Records
Format: CD / Digital
Family pedigree apart (Meredith is the daughter of the late Gordon Lightfoot), Constellations shows all the credentials to make the musical grade are there for Meredith Moon.
Frustratingly this album was prepared for release in 2019 and the world has been denied listening to these well-crafted songs. Meredith has a unique melancholic voice but with a strength that helps to express her personal feelings through these self-written compositions. Accompanying herself on banjo, which she taught herself to play, her Appalachian-style country songs make what can sometimes be hard on the ear, highly listenable. Her solo instrumentals Brokenwing Bird and Needlecase Medley are highly accomplished and a lively listen.
Although the general theme running through these songs is the frailty of life, a life’s journey is rampant with heights and dips and nothing lasts forever yet these songs are by no means grim ballads. Into the mix, however, is a subtle anti-war song Soldier’s Joy, telling the story of a soldier looking to ease the mental and physical torment of war and a song called Mark Twain, imaginative and romantic, pondering the idea that Twain’s vision could be replicated today.
Meredith’s songs have a tuneful warmth that tells you ‘look, you’re not alone, we all have these times’. The comforting nature of the tunes gives you some hope. The album concludes with a reflective song, Slow Moving Train, about when you touch those moments when life seems purposeless and nothing you try can bring back happier times. But don’t despair in the future there’ll be another Meredith Moon album full of poetic imagery to enjoy.
Reputedly Mr Dylan once said that he wished Gordon Lightfoot’s songs never ended, similarly listening to Meredith will get you wanting more. She rightly says: “I’m proud of how far I’ve come independently. I’ve built an audience around the world of people who are unaware of my family relation – they just like my music. That was something I had to prove to myself.”
There is no doubt that Meredith has no need to rely on her father’s notoriety to find success. Clearly, he has had some influence along the way but Meredith has her own boat to row and hopefully, one that will sail on for a long time.
Here’s the title track:
For those unfamiliar with the work of the late Gordon Lightfoot, he was a popular Canadian singer-songwriter whose song and album If You Could Read My Mind was a huge hit in the late sixties, along with Sundown and In The Early Morning Rain. His songs have been covered by many of the great and good.