Phoenix and the Turtle
Swallow Up The Moon

When Godspeed You Black Emperor! lent itself for post-rock to advertise and gain momentum, little did they know just how saturated the genre would become. Soon after, everyone seemed to have a band that played the music by the book, making it harder and harder for the casual listener to find the progressive elements the genre had before been known for. Even now, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd but Phoenix and the Turtle are definitely giving it a shot on their new EP, Swallow Up The Moon.

Most generic post-rock groups go for the traditional End of Days gloom, so Phoenix and the Turtle have found their own niche by going the other way. Musically, Swallow Up The Moon is a warm album with a positive, upbeat spirit, even if deep down it hints of the opposite. There’s a nostalgic, ’50s suburb feel to the music; taking the listener to a time and place where time stood still and everything, except the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, seemed perfect.  Another thing to take note of is the clear flowing use of piano and strings, as they breathe freshness and playfulness to the music – spicing the slightly somber drumming and touchy guitar melodies and the more genre-faithful instrumental sections.

The band also employs both male and female vocals and when they sing the lines “I would have blown my brains out if I hadn’t lost my mind” in perfect harmony, it gives the listener a sense of relief; that everything’s alright, even if the world’s going to turn into shit. Their voices are easy on the ears as they sail on top of the music with a serene flow.

In a way, there’s that old singer/songwriter thing going on that kind of crosses the old but gold pop-music threshold. And I have to say, I’m liking it. It’s like sitting in your car, watching outside as the sun slowly sets while it paints the trees of green in gold and sepia with its last bright rays of light; and there and then― as was said―there’s not a single worry in the world.

Unfortunately Swallow Up The Moon is only 20 minutes long, as it truly makes me want to hear an hourful of this material. Phoenix and the Turtle are a welcomed acquaintance in a genre where it’s easy to get lost in the mass, as they actually do something slightly differently, creating a unique personality for their music. Swallow Up The Moon is definitely something to check out for all the dreamy shoegazers out there. And I’m one of them.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
March 15th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Nick

    Great review! Check out their last album “asleep in America”

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