Stingray Rising Star, SOCAN, and Trille Or Award-winners, Moonfruits (partners Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire) invite you to bend your ear earthwards with their second full-length album, Salt. The Ottawa-based bilingual contemporary folk-makers deliver twelve songs that weave stories of family, responsibility and loss, in this era of climate change and deepening inequality. Transformation – personal, spiritual and political – is Salt’s guiding light. Salt drops on October 7th, and will be available on all major platforms. For more information please visit any of the links below and at Moonfruits’ website.
Having already released three critically acclaimed singles – “Atoms of the Apartment,” Time Past Time,” and “Moon Cradle” – SALT is a complex sonic delight that soothes and starts the human soul, while making us all consider the deeper issues of our lives on the planet in its current state. Salt is a lushly orchestrated 12-song suite that explores what it means to the band to live, dream, and raise a family in an era of climate change, deepening socio-economic inequality, and runaway profit-minded urban development.
The haunting, mesmerizing, sound of “Brittle Earth” was influenced by Irish band Lankum, and Moonfruits’ friends and fellow touring musicians Tragedy Ann. Short, concise, and incredibly powerful, “Brittle Earth,” with its gloriously droning verses and compelling, layered harmonies, is timeless and elemental. The lyrics were heavily influenced by reading Diana Beresford-Kroeger‘s To Speak for the Trees, and by Moonfruits’ awe and humble appreciation of forests themselves, and Indigenous land defenders and their allies all across Turtle Island.
Alex wrote the bouncy, acoustic guitar-fueled “Pretzel Bell” in honour of the friendship between Kait’s maternal and paternal grandfathers, who met in post-WWII London, ON, while working for The London Printing Company, and the fun they presumably are having now, out there in the stars. When the pair gorgeously harmonizes on the chorus line “days to nights, turning into a life,” the song describes how, as we age, human lives are ultimately made by threads of small gestures and small acts.
A 17-year-old Alex wrote the title track “Salt” for his maternal mémère, Germaine, after asking her what form she’d like to take if reincarnated. She replied “Le paradis c’est bien assez pour moi” (“Heaven is good enough for me”); when she turned the question on him, his reply was the poetry for “Salt.” A set list staple, the song’s very popular with Moonfruits’ earliest fans, and with the band itself. Alex shines with a skillet-lickin’-pickin’ guitar solo, answered by a soaring fiddle, while the band chugs along playfully.
A departure from the rest of the album, the raucous sound of “Renter’s Ramble” displays a bit of the crazed restlessness (otherwise known as “cabin fever”) felt by many during the pandemic. The song opens with a soundscape of loudly yelling bricklayers and their machinery, building ever more condos for greedy developers who disrespect and neglect existing tenants. The distorted electric guitar, ragged drums, and shifting tempos between verse and chorus, fully capture the frenetic and disturbing tenor of the situation.
“Seven Billion” is an uptempo, uplifting, but realistic look at the selfish few who profit from exploiting the world, and the potent possibility that lies in harnessing people-power, seven billion strong. The multiple harmonies (including Tragedy Ann and several children) catalyze the spirit of the song in a delightful group singalong. The line “we all do well when we all do well” – which takes up almost half the song – is Moonfruits’ take on “everyone does well when everyone does well,” an ACORN organizing slogan that speaks the sweet plain truth, and flies directly in the face of trickle-down economic theories.
A sumptuous harmonies-first record, Salt highlights the collaboration and camaraderie between Moonfruits and double bassist Tobias Meis (Morlove, Corwin Fox), and multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Liv Cazzola and Braden Phelan (Tragedy Ann, The Lifers). Co-produced by Charles Fairfield, Olivier Fairfield and Moonfruits, Salt is rooted and astral, tender and powerful, foreboding and hopeful, cradling all the convictions and contradictions of its songwriters.
Living and working on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation, Ottawa-based Moonfruits – partners Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire – are bilingual makers of contemporary folk music.
A compelling and creative voice in contemporary Canadian folk music, Moonfruits has toured across Canada, the US and Europe, weaving together song and storytelling with intimacy and theatrical flair. They transport audiences with a tender and powerful live show that elevates the stuff of everyday life.
The foundation of Moonfruits’ sound is their voices – Alex Millaire’s gritty baritone, and Kaitlin Milroy’s choral-trained mezzo. Accompanied by guitar and banjo, and bolstered by a roving cast of double-bass, drums, strings, glockenspiel, kalimba, organ and samples, the band has developed a reputation for disarming even the most skeptical of choristers.
Recently, the group co-wrote, arranged and performed music for Pirate Life Theatre’s site-specific off-grid production, MOBY: A Whale of a Tale (2021) premiered in Toronto to critical acclaim. Recently, MOBY was nominated for five 2022 DORA Awards, including Best Ensemble Cast and Best Production, in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division.