For over a decade, Moonlight Towers have been keeping the power-pop fires burning bright in Austin. After lead singer and songwriter James Stevens moved from Mississippi to Texas, he started developing a batch of rock-and-roll songs that screamed for a live band. Moonlight Towers was formed with a trio of fellow Austinites, naming themselves after the iconic lights seen throughout our city, and the quartet quickly made a name for itself with its self-titled debut in 2002.
At the heart of the Moonlight Towers sound is the kind of guitar jangle that’s been around ever since a group of Liverpool lads made it in America a half-century ago. Beatles fingerprints are all over Stevens’ compositions, but there’s also a healthy dose of twang that perhaps reflects his Mississippi roots (or his current area code). Last year’s Day Is The New Night–Moonlight Towers’ third album–is remarkable in its diversity. First single “Heat Lightning” packs quite a punch, yet the outfit shows off its R&B muscle (“The Easy Way Out”) and folk-rock side (“Comes A Time”) as well.
One of the standouts from the album is “Distant Wheels,” a kaleidoscopic pop ballad that finds the band slowing down for some hard-earned introspection. “Don’t ever stop running” goes the harmony-rich chorus, and with songs like these, we hope Moonlight Towers take their own advice.
Today, we’re offering up “Distant Wheels” as KUT’s Song of the Day, and we’re also premiering the accompanying music video. As the ballad slowly unfolds, the band members stumble around a particularly rousing carnival, which you can see for yourself below.
Moonlight Towers: “Distant Wheels” << Download