Written primarily around the time of the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century – July 2018 – Riaan Nieuwenhuis’s new album is a 9-track exploration of sound through instrumentalism.
Bleeding Moon clocks in at just over 30 minutes, and is bite-sized enough – as albums go – to make an impact. It is awash in the sort of neo-classical sounds which one might pin among theatrical or jazz-esque. In fact, it’s just Nieuwenhuis’s way of combining his many influences into one rolling album.
It moves from the jazzy strains of opening track “Clarkesdale” through to the darker, ominous riffs of “Declaration”. “Reminiscence” cuts a varied, exploratory track through a snared beat and chiming piano, while “Extradition” edges in as close to rock as this album ever gets.
By the time we hit “Boreas” though, things starts to slow down considerably – allowing for the second half of the album to gravitate through stripped and simplified piano solos, acoustic guitar inflections, and sentimental summery sounds. Then, just to keep things comfortably shaken up, “Frontier” wraps things up with a theatrical, almost circus-esque frivolity.
This is semi-experimental lounge music at some of its best and you’ve likely got nothing better to do in your lounge than listen.