MOONLIGHT FLIT: Road to the Outside
By Jacob Connor
The debut CD from Wellington’s Moonlight Flit is an appealing package, with a lush matt print insert and curly Brothers Grimm-esque fairytale artwork. The music is pastoral folk rock with crescendos. A guitar, bass and drum trio, the structures adhere to a singer/songwriter aesthetic, though the writing credits are attributed evenly. Much of the burden of success rests upon the shoulders (and pipes) of guitarist Tim Rhoades, who has a touch of Jeff Buckley about him. His voice swoops and breaks into falsetto, but it will sometimes plateau when it intends to soar, ‘I’ve always struggled to be myself’ he sings in The Mask. A breathy Lothario is unveiled in Late Night Gospel, but seduction teeters on a knife-edge, when an assured gravitas would seal the deal. There is a romantic dreaminess to the set, with floating counterpoint vocal harmonies punctuated by drum breaks and concentrated riffing. Mike Rhoades (whom I assume is related) on drums shows his dynamic range with cymbal swells and brushwork and Simon Eastwood’s tasteful bass props up the triangle. There are some very pretty guitar bits. The recording as a whole retains a loose and jammy vibe, sounds of forest rainfall precede and follow the 10 songs, framing the flitting moonlight in a dense, mossy and semi-obscured landscape.