As 2015 was wrapping up, an unknown outfit called Joon Moon took the music world by surprise with its first single Chess. The four cuts on the Call Me EP, a beguiling mix of pop and soul, electronic music and jazz, melancholy and elegy, heralded a forthcoming album that was bound to leave a blast radius on landing.
And while the name and vibe of the project evokes a purple veloured, old-Hollywood universe, Joon Moon was borne out of a resolutely contemporary meeting of the minds – the kind the can only happen amidst our jetsetting music scene.
After ten years of touring the world playing double bass with Marc Collin’s Nouvelle Vague ensemble, alongside excursions into house music on the Yellow Productions Art of Disco compilations, not to mention co-producing Florent Marchet’s Bamby Galaxy album, it was time for songwriter/producer/renaissance man Julien Decoret to dedicate his heart and soul to a new challenge.
With Raphaël Chassin, (Hugh Coltman, Vanessa Paradis, Pauline Croze) on drums, helping out with the production and arrangements, and Sébastien Trouvé as sound engineer, Decoret set out on his retromodern Joon Moon mission, laying out the contours of a world where trip-hop, jazz, soul and electronic music live side by side, sharing their joys and sorrows. The only missing element was that one last bit of magic, a voice that could take the project to ever-loftier heights.
Enter Krystle Warren. She had worked with Rufus Wainwright, and Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside, and had made forays into house music herself by providing vocals to two cuts off Hercules and Love Affair's, The Feast of the Broken Heart. That’s not even mentioning her own band, Krystle Warren and The Faculty – and its three albums – which display her impressive grasp of soul music, folk, blues...
Joon Moon’s first album Moonshine Corner, which stole part of its name from an Austin watering hole that had become a haunt during its first American mini-tour, is the sound of four people meeting at an unlikely crossroads named Melancholy. Recorded using modern studio techniques along with vintage 60s and 70s instruments, Moonshine Corner places its chips on a subtly modern vibe through twelve lovelorn tracks that weave themselves around pop and trip hop, folk and soul, jazz licks and electronic washes, digging their own groove in the river bed dug by years and years of exposure to Radiohead, Neil Young, and Zero 7.
Joon Moon is also, lest we forget, a project that takes on its full magnitude on stage. The barebones live setup (drums, piano) allows Krystle’s powerful voice to fill the space, swaying from nervy to more subdued laments, hopping around tessitura in the blink of an eye. Consider the live french version of Radiohead’s I Might Be Wrong, which transports you to the fictional smoky jazz club where forgotten, old 50s star Joon Moon holds court behind the microphone.