Get on down to Oslo, in Hackney tonight, to hear Moriarty’. Named for the character of the same name, Dean Moriarty, in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, the acclaimed French-American band are playing in support of their forthcoming third album ‘Epitaph’ which, will be released on July 6th.
Formed in 2005, Moriarty is a musical collective made up of five artists of French, American, Swiss and Vietnamese origin. The members were mainly born in France to American parents. Moriarty have a very solid reputation throughout Europe for playing live, where they use a multitude of weird and wonderful instruments to lay down layers of bluesy, cajun, folky sound before vocalist Rosemary Moriarty brings her considerable vocal talents to the party – she has a touch of the Karen Dalton & Nina Simone about her.
Produced and mixed by Renaud Létang, who has worked with such acts as The Kills, Feist, Lianne La Havas, and Manu Chao, ‘Epitaph’ is the band’s fourth album. This record starts where their second album, ‘The Missing Room’ ended: at the threshold of another world – the realm of spirits, ghosts and wandering souls. Not an album about death, but rather a bright, strange, unpredictable journey through “Underworld” (or afterworld).
The album features songs that the band had lost and forgotten, alongside those songs of love and lost – recorded in the attic of a farmhouse near a mining town in Eastern France.
“In 2014, after a few years of touring, we opened our archives, our suitcases and notebooks filled with unfinished fragments, forgotten instrumentals and obscure lyrics. We found old tracks recorded on dictaphones and 1/4-inch tapes, captured in the backstage of theatres, hotels and remote hideouts.”
‘Epitaph’ is at once catchy and compelling, bluesy and beat. Taken on a trip by the gorgeous voice of Rosemary Moriarty (real name Rosemary Standley), accompanied by guitars and double bass and harmonica, the listener is captured, and flung into a seedy smokey cafe, where we can just about make out through the haze the heroes of the beat generation Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg and Cassady, reciting from their notebooks.