Slark Moan

slark moan

Ages 21+
21+ _ $5_10.30p

Slark Moan

When Nashville based singer/songwriter Mark Sloan records albums, he takes the word “solo” seriously…and literally. He’s a true Renaissance man, one who plays every instrument, pens the tunes, produces/engineers the proceedings and releases the results on his own imprint. Call him a one man band or the definitive do-it-yourselfer but Sloan—who goes by the barely concealed pseudonym of Slark Moan—gives new meaning to the concept of indie. He’s truly independent of many pressures generated by the music machine that other, often lesser talented artists, are subject to. All of which explains why the uniquely titled Superstition for the Consumer Romantic, his sophomore full length, took about a year and a half to craft.

The album was laid down in pieces as Sloan, who records at home, spends much of his time on the road touring as a hired gun for an assortment of alt-country/pop acts such as Kelsey Waldon, Margo Price, Sam Outlaw, Erin Rae and more. Thanks to understanding neighbors and his own demanding standards, he worked at home at his leisure, carefully casting each song by overdubbing guitar, drums, pedal steel, and keyboards until he felt comfortable with the finished product. “I had the vibe of the record in my head. The recording process was more about filling in color and sketching it out. Because the band is just me, I wasn’t able to play the songs live so it was all happening in my house,” he says.

The material emerged from a rather dark, deeply introspective time in Sloan’s life, largely informed by a sense of dissatisfaction caused by the cognitive dissonance between expectations and reality in our rapidly shifting culture. “Expectations are a product of our environment and largely the cultural mythology that inform our behavior,” he clarifies. "We live in a world that is a blending of romanticism and consumerism. The romantics in all of us seek meaning in experiences and those experiences theoretically validate our existence. In a post-industrial capitalist age, meaningful experiences have been commodified and existential fulfillment becomes another consumer good, thus purpose becomes determined by purchasing power."

Sloan was traveling a lot before and during the recording of these tracks, frustrated he was unable to explore his creative instincts working behind musicians who were exploring theirs. That may come as a surprise since Sloan’s music floats in a shimmering pool of dreamy, occasionally edgy pop. Often melancholy but never gloomy, it drifts and soars on sturdy melodies, effortlessly smooth vocals with instantly memorable hooks and choruses.

Its blend of sounds isn’t jazz, but rather inspired by Sloan’s study of that genre. “The way to be a jazz player is to put as many things in your toolbox as you can, then have the freedom to open that toolbox and use whatever you want,” he says. To that end, touches of whimsical, Technicolor psychedelia, Beach Boys-styled harmonies, Beatle/McCartney-esque dexterity and ELO-imbued layering yield songs practically demanding to be played with the convertible top down on a clear summer day. Names like Harry Nilsson, early Todd Rundgren and Emmit Rhodes may also echo as these ten tunes roll out anchored by Sloan’s honeyed voice and sweetly stinging guitar riffs.

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Venue Information:
Tellus360 - Tigh Caleb
24 East King St
Lancaster, PA, 17602