Moon Blue aka George Appleton is a Bournemouth-born musician that has spent time living and loving in Bologna. He recent released single “All I know (Is That)”, which is a soft indie pop single that instantly entrances the listener with it’s captivating and relatable lyrics and hypotonic sound. Take a listen below:
Feels: soft, cashmere
Sounds: like beach fossils, toro y moi
About Moon Blue:
Love might be the most documented concept of them all, but as long as new people are falling in and out of it, finding fresh ways to bend the emotion to their own story, it’s something that will never fail to provoke new and interesting art.
For Moon Blue – the musical alias of George Appleton – love is at the centre of everything the project has become about. The breakdown of a relationship was the catalyst for the Bournemouth-born musician to first pick up the pen as a solo artist following a series of stints in bands; now, living in Bologna and entirely loved-up once more, it’s his current romance that’s become the primary muse for his forthcoming debut EP, ‘The Moonlight Disco’.
“Love is subjective, so if you’re writing from a point of sincerity then there’s always going to be a unique element to it,” says Appleton. “I was just writing in earnest for this person, for her. This is the first time I’ve written objective love songs in the present.”
Trained as a jazz drummer and a self-taught guitarist, until recently Appleton had always been a cog in part of a bigger band machine. “I’d always wanted a solo project because I’d always played in bands where I was the drummer, or I was singing and playing guitar but still compromising with other people,” he explains. “But writing music has been a constant throughout my life. It’s just company really, and it’s something I find rewarding even if I have no intention of releasing the song into the world.”
Moon Blue’s first output firmly fell into this category at the start, too. Having moved into a “pretty depressing” studio apartment by the sea during the pandemic following the dissolution of a five-year relationship, Appleton would spend his days writing purely to purge the emotions; in the evening, he would walk along the beach and listen back to what he’d come up with. “It was directly about that one thing and that one moment in time,” he explains, “but it helped me gain confidence in constructing everything without compromise, and it was vindicating to know it all came from me.”
Urged to release the tracks by his friends, eventually Appleton gave in and put one song, 2021’s ‘Beneath The Moon’, online. An instant earworm of sugary, nocturnal funk-pop, it began to pick up attention from the likes of Amazing Radio and influential Youtuber David Dean Burkhart. “Since then it hasn’t really slowed down, it’s just been quite consistent, like when you push a snowball down the hill and it just fuels itself,” he says.
With an adventurous musical library that draws on everything from Yellow Magic Orchestra and Japanese pop luminary Hiroshi Sato, through to classical Italian music via more contemporary indie such as Men I Trust (“My friends call me Lame Impala, which initially pissed me off but now I think it’s funny…” Appleton laughs), it would, however, take another major life change to spur on Moon Blue’s next material.
Fed up with the ongoing fallout of Brexit, Appleton decided to move to Italy for three months before heading to Japan. The first part of the plan happened, but then he fell in love. Faced with having to temporarily return to the UK due to visa reasons before he could return to Bologna, he started writing the songs that would become his debut EP: a collection of heart-on-sleeve alternative pop nuggets that ring with the warmth of both Italy itself and new romance.
Conjuring up the evocative sense of moonlit night dreaming, ‘The Moonlight Disco’ (set for release via 777 Music, home of Boy Pablo) comprises six tracks that drill down to the heart of the project. Forthcoming single ‘All I Know (Is That)’ details “the feeling of being in a precarious situation whilst knowing the certainty that I had around it” via lilting guitars and soft, woozy falsetto; on the flip side, ‘Blossom Through My Window’ spans nearly six minutes and marks the most sonically adventurous track Moon Blue has penned to date. “Lyrically and structurally, it’s sparser and there’s more space for the vocals to sit – more harmonies and more layering and a lot dreamier,” Appleton explains. “It was earnest and sincere and it felt accurate.”
‘Beneath The Moon’ gets a long-overdue full release, while ‘Woke Up Thinking Of You’ showcases a different side to Appleton’s writing – creafted in tribute to his grandfather who’d recently passed away. The line “I wake up seeing your name on my arm” directly corresponds to a tattoo of his signature that the musician has inked on his own body. Throughout the EP, meanwhile, Appleton’s falsetto rings clearly, his vocal range lifting the songs and adding an integral sense of intimacy and tenderness.
It’s an immersive introduction to an artist who understands that, somewhere between the intensely personal and the openly universal, lies magic. Having initially shied away from putting his music online, Moon Blue is finally embracing the musical prospects that love seems to have inadvertently thrown him.