New Luna are a Manchester band on the rise. They’ve been selling out gigs around their hometown for awhile now, they’ve supported some other great bands like Sløtface and Happyness, and even made their way across the Atlantic in March for the New Colossus Festival in NYC, before all this Covid fuckery shut us down. They claim ancestry from the likes of Radiohead, Mogwai, and the Twilight Sad. I hear other things in their music, like Helmet and Fugazi. Not that they’re as hardcore as they are, but they speak to a kind of fragility in the male role. They play a much more hazy, guitar-centric rock than their claimed ancestors, even Mogwai, who, as far as I’m concerned, never really put it together.
Frontman and guitarist Tommy Deedigan explains ‘Prunus’ in the following terms:
I think sometimes people find it difficult to hear men being openly vulnerable, like it’s almost the opposite of what’s expected of them in lad culture or just in friendships and relationships at times. In some ways I just wanted to be openly vulnerable and make those people feel uncomfortable to challenge that stigma. There’s also this very real relationship between mental health and art that I guess this song addresses on a more personal level –about this fear that if you fix those issues, then maybe you wouldn’t be able to write anymore.
On the one hand, I find it depressing that it’s 2020 and we’re still having this discussion, on the other hand, this is a flat out killer track. Beginning in a squall of guitar from Deedigan and Zack Bamber, the song explodes into a raw drum and bass combo from Tom Owen and Nathan Gray, respectively. Deedigan’s view is reminiscent of something, but I can’t place it. His voice sounds vaguely familiar, but it also conveys that vulnerability and fragility that he is trying to convey. And I may be a child of the 90s, but I really love the counterpoint of those lyrics with the stuttering, squalling guitars.