Published Jul 28, 2014Wet Moccasin Moondance, the fourth album from Edmonton-based musician Lucas O'Connell, is the intimate and solitary tale of a man and his guitar. It's a very curious creation: On the one hand, it is endearing because of O'Connell's shaky, high-register cadences and Neil Young-like vocal qualities; on the other, it feels incomplete, like the skeletons of songs which have yet to be fleshed out with more dynamic instrumentation. O'Connell's commendable, do-it-yourself attitude is admirable, and goes a long way to making Wet Moccasin Moondance a remarkable piece of work, but with some further sound development and production, O'Connell could make a more defined statement.
O'Connell explores further than on his previous work by working electric guitar into his compositions, (rather than relying solely acoustic progressions) and the album benefits from the new exploration of sonic ranges, while some songs ("Broken Little Indian" and "Reflection") hit the mark as solo-instrument pieces, others ("Worth Fighting For" and "Tumbleweed") could benefit from added percussion and bass. A fuller sound would complement O'Connell's voice and solidify his presence.
At points, some of O'Connell's scribblings can come off as a bit hackneyed ("Mind At War"), but for the most part O'Connell's lyrics are focused and thematically oriented towards comfortable subjects of nature and introspection. Here's hoping O'Connell's confident exploration of electric sounds and subject matter will continue to contribute to his artistic growth. (Independent)