The Moondoggies: “Red Eye”

Seattle’s The Moondoggies are like a big, downy jacket on a cold, drizzly Pacific Northwestern day. Their sound is rootsy rock, and it’s infused with the sort of Americana that just makes you feel warm and cozy.

They didn’t always sound like that. What would become The Moondoggies began life as a high school punk band called The Familiars in the town of Everett, just north of Seattle. With The Familiars, Moondoggies frontman Kevin Murphy started making music with the fellas that’d be the heart of the group. After the Familiars called it quits, and Murphy returned to Everett from an Alaskan sojourn, he reconvened with some of his former bandmates and collaborators including bassist Robert Terreberry, keyboardist Caleb Quick, and drummer Carl Dahlen. Murphy’s longtime friend and musical partner Jon Pontrello was a frequent guest with the nascent Moondoggies, and he became a full-fledged member in 2012.

The Moondoggies released their debut Don’t Be a Stranger in 2008 via Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art. The record’s filled with beautiful harmonies, rough-and-tumble roots-rock and gentle folk. With an expanded sound, The Moondoggies’ excellent sophomore record Tidelands saw them moving closer to My Morning Jacket or Fleet Foxes territory. Earlier this month, The Moondoggies released their third LP Adiós I’m a Ghost. One of the album’s standout’s is a tune called “Red Eye.” The jangly mid-tempo rocker hits right off the tip with the hook, and unfolds like a long-lost track from The Band. The electric organ hangs just in the background, but it’s one of the best touches. It’s a simple song, but it’s organic, familiar and plenty warm and cozy.

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