David 9 Lunas ( reviewed by Dave Franklin )
18th November 2017
You can always rely on David 9 Lunas to be able to deliver soulful and smooth vibes, songs which beautifully drift and glide, gently pulse with wonderful restraint and are cleverly woven. We knew that, but what makes Universal Joy so great is the lyrical component which more than matches such sweet and dexterous music. Across ten songs he explores a range of subjects from the personal to the universal. From the trials and tribulations of moving house to attempted government control, from mental health issues to spirituality, love, depression and even a fantastical aside inspired by the novels of Anne Rice.
I spend a lot of time moaning that music has forgotten that it has a self made platform, a place from which it can speak to a wide and attentive audience, but thankfully David has not forgotten. We are not talking about preaching, this isn’t a soapbox but if you have the opportunity to send a message out to the world then make it a poignant and important one. Universal Joy is just such a message, a series of thoughts and musical musings which hopefully will make people consider the world around them and the people who pass them on the street every day.
But it is a message, or a series of messages, wrapped up in some gorgeous music. In The Name of The Father comes from a very personal space but is universally relatable and the title track is a blissed iece of pop-soul and Movin ‘Ouse Blues is the light relief of the album, a breezy, bluesy knock along song with fun to the fore and tongue pushed firmly in cheek. It swoops and soars with lush strings, jingles with jaunty banjos, shimmers with acoustic picking and drips with soulful vocals.
Like Mushroom Tea from a couple of years ago, David 9 Lunas again shows his ability to wander through popular music genres – folk, soul, pop, blues, rock and country – tipping hats, referencing classic sounds, acknowledging past greats and using these sounds to build his own gentle, meticulously wrought but formidable musical identity. Music is sometimes deep and insightful, often it is accessible and infectious, rarely is it both. Universal Joy is one of those rare occasions.
David 9 Lunas ( reviewed by Andy Snipper)
14th October 2017
Hands up, I have been following David 9 Lunas for a few years now and waiting with bated breath for him to finally release an album of new material. Bottom line – well worth the wait and a delightful set of songs.
Born in Trinidad but brought up in England he is officially a Blues singer but I would say rather more of a folk artist, teller of tales and old fashioned hippy (in the best sense of the term).
He has a beautiful voice, really expressive and capable of carry huge amounts of emotion as well as dipping occasionally into deep whimsy.
Musically, the album is not rooted anywhere particular. It crosses between folk, Blues, jazz and captures the soul of a complex musician effortlessly. There is no point on the album when you feel that he is straining for a phrase or stretching musical metaphors – the focus is on the songs and the message.
The album is dedicated to ‘awareness of mental health’ and some of the songs definitely touch on a very difficult subject but always with a sense of wonderment and a caring voice.
The opener, ‘How Sweet The Brave’ has some disturbing and jumbled images in the opening phrase and the underlying darkness of the music counterpoints the lyrics – Lunas says “The story is a depressive cycle of a young girl trapped. Lonely and surrounded by confusion, without support lying in bed “trying to escape the day” but he avoids the obvious bleakness and manages to show the complexity of the cycle.
Cut that against ‘Sunshine In The Rain’ – a pure love song to his wife Molly and written for their wedding day. Loaded with whistling and strings but the core is his voice and you can hear the love dripping from every note.
I must say that I adore ‘Movin Ouse Blues’ – a wonderful tale of the trials and tribulations of moving house, describing their journey around the classic parts of Somerset – frantic, funny and finally joyous.
‘Reefer Girl’ is – in the words of Lunas again “An impression of someone with issues about mental health again about someone young and how it can impact on friends and family when combined with drug abuse.” Rocky and with a hard edge with a fine harmonica break from Al Cosnett.
The sumptuous ‘In The Name Of The Father’ was written for his father who passed away in 2016 and touches on the difficulty of a meeting of the minds between the generations and the chasm between them. Ultimately it has a redemptive tone to it but leaves you thinking about relationships with those who went before us.
There really isn’t a weak song here and a great deal to think about. I have listened to it a few times now and find my attentions moving around every time.
David 9 Lunas is a complex musician but he seems to have found a particular rich groove of songs here and the album is satisfying on many levels.
DAVID 9 LUNAS (reviewed by Andy Snipper)
Bristol based singer and songwriter David 9 Lunas is hopefully releasing a new album this year, the follow up to ‘Rain Water and Wine’.
The first rough cuts are very promising with Luna’s sweet and throaty vocals well to the fore.
‘Hand Of Angels’ has the feel of a classic sixties pop/psychedelic, shimmering guitar leading into sparky solo riff and his voice, even on this early mix, sounding as though he is in a perfect place, unhurried and with no strain. There is even a tinge of Blues and reggae in the way he puts the song over.
‘Sunshine In The Rain’ shows a totally different side of Lunas; softly picked guitar and summery vocals. It sounds like the kind of love song that can only be written from the heart – no sense of song-as-product and all the more enticing and warming because of it.
From the early cuts it definitely sounds as though he is in a happy vein and ready to make the album his early promise demanded.
David 9 Lunas ( reviewed by The Musician )
Latest review from The Musicians Union written by Keith Ames & Tom Short taken from The Musician, Magazine Autumn 2015 edition : ‘ David is a mercurial performer who blends his roots in Trinidad and his upbringing in the UK to forge emotional and charismatic songs flushed with melody and simple rhythmic settings, instantly memorable and highly enjoyable.’
DAVID 9 LUNAS ( reviewed by Andy Snipper)
Posted June 2015
David 9 Lunas: a slightly hippier Hendrix
Describing himself as a singer- songwriter hardly does credit to what David 9 does. Steeped in hippy tradition, with a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, he has great charm, an innate niceness to his music, and is capable of some really sensitive and emotive writing.
There are definite touches of both Donovan and Marc Bolan in his music, but he also has a surreal side to his lyrics that genuinely brings a smile to your face.
Residing in the Bristol area and gigging regularly in the South West and London, he has been building a large following and his recent release, Mushroom Tea, shows his capabilities to a ‘T’.
Mushroom Tea – David 9 Lunas (reviewed by Dave Franklin)
Posted on April 28, 2015 by Dave Franklin
For a man whose past weaves between such rock and hard places as No Sweat, B.L.O.W and therefore by association Little Angels, David 9 Lunas seems to have found a mellower musical place to inhabit these days. The 5 tracks on Mushroom Tea blend soulful restraint and chilled, acoustic vibes and even when heading back into his old stamping grounds on Angel in a Tree, the result is funky blues rather than anything more blatant. And whilst such a song shows Lunas to be a fine gravel voiced rock singer it is the soft tones of the more considered tracks coupled with the lyrical poeticism that provides the more memorable moments of the record.
As with last years Rain, Water and Wine, Lunas again shows that musically he is happy to wander across various musical boundaries, work in genres ranging from folk, soul, pop, funk and blues but which ever he choses is able to deliver sensitive and restrained tunes, something he does with ease.
David 9 Lunas
Mushroom Tea EP
added: 28 Mar 2015 // release date: 1 Apr 2015 // label: Self issued
reviewer: Andy Snipper
David 9 Lunas – Mushroom Tea EP –
To be honest, I have no idea how to characterise David 9 Lunas, I can only say that the songs on this EP have been bringing bigger smiles to my face than anyone else I have heard recently.
He has a really pleasant voice, full of tuneful colour and an accent I couldn’t quite place but might be London or Bristol-lite and he writes songs that tell stories of his life and just charm the heck out of the listener.
Opening track, ‘Mushroom Tea’, is possibly not about tea made from buttons or chestnut mushrooms but it swings along merrily and the refrain “I’m just sittin’, watching the freaks go by” takes you straight to balmy summer days, imbibing just a little too much and in the company of like types. It has echoes of Donovan and a delicious sixties groove.
Going right from that into a sublime lullaby is absolutely not what you would expect but he carries it off with a simple backing and all the focus on his voice – untrained and not quite perfect but just right for the song.
He peppers his songs with little surreal pinpricks and that adds to the charm of his music – this is really what he is about, charm and whimsy and somehow he makes something that lingers long in the memory.
He can get serious as on ‘Wildfire’, subtle and jazzy with tons of atmosphere as well as the hippy stuff but the live version of ‘Angel In A Tree’ shows the frustrated Bolan who also resides deep in his soul.
David 9 Lunas is good for your soul, he makes music that allows you to smile and brings you joy and puzzlement in equal measure. In a fair world he would be a national treasure