SXSW Find: Willy Moon
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Lets get this off my chest first. I was only going to the Hipstamatic brunch for the free food.
But I’m glad I stayed for New Zealand’s Willy Moon. The dude was almost like an alarm clock, waking up the rather hungover brunch crowd by drawing elements from rockabilly and old Americana. Off the bat Moon looks like he was transported from 1955, with his lanky legs and tall frame, the 23 year old artist did his best Elvis impression, copying some signature moves. Accompanied by and equally tall and lanky female backing band, Moon and his crew were unabashedly nostalgic in their appearance, rocking matching black and white attire in the hot Texas sun.
But it’s not all old school for Moon. Actually what almost make me drop my plate of food was his use of hip-hop samples in two of his songs. “Yeah Yeah” uses Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache” which is more recently known for Wu-Tang’s “Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit”, while “Railroad Track” uses ARC Choir’s “Walk With Me,” sampled by Kanye for “Jesus Walks.” I don’t know why this is surprising–we do live in the Information Age for god sakes–but it still made me take notice.
I really think Willy Moon’s country music meets hip-hop act astetic could work in the States. It will require people to stretch their definition of music just a bit, but it’s worth it.