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Created during the unprecedented isolation of the pandemic - and recorded solo in a 375 sq. ft carriage house - MOON CALENDAR is the lush and adventurous debut release of multi-instrumentalist Travis McNamara. When eight months of touring with his Telluride-winning band Trout Steak Revival was wiped out overnight, he turned to recording, taking his folk writing into much wider electric and electronic territory. No fewer than 15 instruments show up across its tracks; all played by McNamara himself. Inspired by the sounds of Adrianne Lenker, Bon Iver, The Books, and Denver’s own Nat Tate, he pursued a new way of writing, creating, and self-recording. In a moving pastiche of layered recordings, McNamara speaks directly to and about the people he loves and gives us an intimate window into the life of a Denver experimental songwriter.
In fact, monthly songwriting challenges with an online group of local musicians, dubbed ‘Beaver Moon’, was one of the things that helped him digest all the changes to his touring lifestyle after the pandemic struck. In recording this album, he describes nightly walks under the moon, unlocking the puzzle of a new instrument, and tracking and hunting the secret animal hearts of these new songs. As always, McNamara makes generous use of his most dynamic themes; expansiveness and adventure, balanced with isolation and freedom, and of course the perennial search for love.