Débuting with a splash

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Elizabeth Moen celebrates the release of her début album with a performance at the Mill.

By Claire Dietz

claire-dietz@uiowa.edu

Elizabeth Moen doesn’t waste time.

She spent September writing eight songs. She booked a recording space in November. She’s already reserved space to record her next album this summer.

UI senior Moen will play at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., at 9 p.m. Friday, accompanied by guitarist Joseph Ewart, bassist Tim Hunziker, and drummer Carlo Kind. Together, they create a sound drawing from the likes of Laura Marling, Joni Mitchell, Alabama Shakes, and Shakey Graves.

The band plays in the guitarist’s living room, a space filled by a drum set, amps, and guitars, and, above all, sound.

Before singing, Moen joked, “We get pretty loud.” And loud they were, in a way that expanded the entire space and shook the plants occupying the room’s numerous windows.

Hunziker and Ewart both play in local psychedelic-rock band Soul Phlegm. Working with Moen’s folk-rock sound has presented its own challenges; Hunziker jokingly referred to the genre change as “taming the beast.”

“The music that this band performs is much different from anything I’ve ever played before, which is fun,” he said. “It gives you a chance to break out, listen and get new inspiration from different artists instead of just listening to rock and roll.”

Ewart takes pride in not only the sound of the band but the quality and professionalism of the music the musicians produce.

“You hear things, like national recording artists, and here we are, recording in a living room and playing this music,” he said.

When rehearsing, the band tweaked some of the songs to be more fit for playing live, Moen said, for a specific effect.

“Some of the songs on the album are slow, they’re fun to listen to but more like you are in the car hanging out.,” she said. “They’re very slow, chill songs. Some of these songs, we’re trying to make them sound like something you want to hear live; you want to hear at a show.”

Moen said she’s excited to have the band together again so that the members may grow more comfortable in their playing.

“We played at the Governor’s Mansion to a pretty full crowd a little over a month ago,” she said. “That was really fun, and that was our first time playing together as a band aside from recording in the studio. I’m excited to finally play at an actual venue. The album release, it’s almost like our first show.”

She looks to move forward with their sound and push boundaries in terms of the style and her songwriting.

“I want to experiment,” she said. “All the lyrics on the first album are hopeful, pining, and sad. But with the second album, I want it to be less of a ‘Who did this to me?’ but a more of a ‘What can I do?’ or ‘You did this, but I’m not going to let it affect me.’ ”

 

MUSIC

Elizabeth Moen

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Mill, 120 E. Burlington

Admission: $7, 19-plus after 10 p.m.

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