One of the headline acts of Grauzone 2024 was supposed to be The Soft Moon – until the tragic passing of frontman Luis Vasquez a few days ago. Vasquez had performed solo at the festival two years ago and many, me included, were looking forward to the chance to see a full band version of the project – started way back in 2009.

The Soft Moon was one of the first bands on the original roster of New York label Captured Track, which was founded by Mike Sniper of Blank Dogs around the same time. They released the self-titled debut album by The Soft Moon in 2010. It was the label’s 85th release (and their debut single was #47), which says a lot about how insanely productive the label was in its first few years.

The Soft Moon is an 11-track LP that sees the group recreate the post-punk sound of Joy Division and Suicide for a new generation. It was typical of Captured Tracks hitherto unseen knack for combining the booming garage rock scene with moody post-punk and minimal wave. At that time The Soft Moon didn’t catch my ear nearly as much e.g. Minks, who turned up around the same time.

After The Soft Moon continued making music until this day, they proved to be one of the most consistent artists on Captured Tracks and much more than part of a passing fad. In fact, Exister from 1,5 years ago includes some of their best work.

Check out this tribute to Silent Servant and The Soft Moon from Filmmaker.

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