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Music Review: Tom Freund Two Moons

Some artists refuse to let themselves be pigeon-holed by musical genres. Tom Freund is one of these artists. The former bassist for the Alt Country outfit The Silos keeps good company too—often collaborating with Ben Harper, who lends a guest vocal on the opening track “Angel Eyes”. “Angel Eyes” is a love song to life in L.A. It speaks of the city and her resilience. Despite reoccurring fires and earthquakes that plague the city there’s always a party somewhere. This track set the mood and a theme for the entire album.

Freund lacks no humor as singer songwriter, full of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm with lines like “The sun is shining all over this town/ I’m so happy when you’re not around” from “Next Time Around”, a Hawaiian-inspired, barefoot, feel-good song that is easy to catch yourself singing along with. He somehow avoids oozing with sap or self loathing that often occurs on these records.

As happy as most of this record sounds it is not void of gloom. “Heavy Balloon” has a chorus that will leave some listeners thinking they are listening to Tom Pettty—it’s about perseverance and refusing to give up in the face of impending doom. On “Same Old Shit Different Day,” Freund sings about the craziness of day to day life and encountering the people that make the best of what life has to offer. Inspired by a bike ride, he paints a picture of fearless kids at a skateboard park while mariachi trumpets play.

“Happy Days Lunch Box” is a reflection on the youth that passes us all by. Freund’s brilliance as songwriter shines on this track as he discusses the simple identities of character lunch boxes, which we perceive as cool status symbols when we’re children. His incorporation of the term latch-key kid fits perfectly when he states that he has seen worse raising.

Another song where he uses the art of the metaphor so well is “Grooves Out of My Heart”. Here Freund speaks of his time at school with Julio, a nice homage to Paul Simon. This one will get the toe tapping, but not stomping. It’s also the most riff-driven song on the album showcasing, Freund’s proficiency on all of the instruments that he plays. This reflection was brought on by the loss of his mother whom this album is dedicated to and the selling of his family home in New York—a home that had become more than a dwelling, and more of a sanctuary of inspiration. “Mind of Your Own” was the last song that Freund wrote at his New York home before the sale. He has stated that it is his favorite cut here as it brings to a close another chapter of his life.

With Two Moons, Freund has created a solid record. There is no filler or fluff, no tracks to skip. Handling the production and most of the instruments himself shows again that Freund is a true talent that should have more exposure.

Two Moons is now available from Surf Road Records.