The early history of Half Moon Run: in harmony since the beginning

La petite histoire de Half Moon Run: en harmonie depuis les débuts

The future of three young musicians, English canadians came to Montreal to study took place one evening in October 2009. In a space located ” in a building ugly “, at a stone’s throw from the Bell Centre, the magic began and Half Moon Run was born.

“Now, it’s a parking lot, but at the time there was a big building where there were several bands of metal. The hallways were disgusting, the toilet did not work “, sets out laughing and Dylan Phillips.

Back in the time. At this time, Dylan Phillips and Conner Molander had just arrived in the metropolis to continue their studies : the first at the Conservatory, the other in psychology at McGill University.

Oddly enough, even though they are both native of Comox, near Vancouver, Dylan and Conner did not know each other before they put their suitcases in Quebec.

“I was aware that people from my area were in Montreal and I tried to get in contact with them. One of our common friends tried to gather musicians to play and see what would result. One day, I participated in a jam and this is where I met Dylan. “

At South By Southwest in 2012

Find the good singer

The great chemistry between the two young men are quickly turned into interest in setting up a musical project. It had to be a singer. A guy in Ottawa, was installed as the them to Montreal, responded to their ad for an audition. It was Devon Portielje and here we are at that famous evening in October 2009.

“I remember having quickly found that Devon was an amazing singer. The difficulty of finding a good singer is often the main challenge of a group of amateur, even more someone who can write and play multiple instruments, ” says Conner Molander.

“From the first hour, remembers Dylan Phillips, we started to sing harmonies and to exchange ideas. It was a snapshot. For me, it was shocking because I had never had an experience like that. “

At Osheaga, in 2016

The foundations of Half Moon Run were cast and, quickly, all the energy has been set to launch the project.

“After my first year of university, tells Conner Molander, I had planned to return to British Columbia for the summer to work in order to make money to not to have a too large student debt. But Devon convinced me to stay in Montreal. It was there that I realized that it was serious because I have accepted me into debt in order to avoid losing our momentum. “

“And it was during this summer that you’ve composed several songs which would eventually end up on Dark Eyes. “

At the International balloon festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in 2014

“Who is this band ? “

During the same period, a happy accident has enabled Half Moon Run to get what he did was not even : a record contract.

“We played for friends in Devon who were studying in registration. They wanted to be subjects of a project, it was necessary to record a song. I remember that I was really sick, but we said that it was an opportunity and that it had to be done. I had a garbage can and I mouchais between each shot, ” says Dylan Phillips.

What song played in ? Full Circle, become one of the most popular of the group.

That lingered in the corner during the session ? The director of the Disks Indica.

“She worked at this school and heard the students’ project. She said : who is this band ? I need to speak to them. “

In FEQ, in 2016

Success fast

Half Moon Run has never looked back.

After the launch of Dark Eyes the same that of the passages noticed at South By Southwest and Osheaga, the trio, now a quartet with the recruitment of Isaac Symonds, who has had the chance to do the first parts of Mumford and Sons.

“Everything was of the unknown, when we started to have success, I didn’t understand why it worked. I didn’t believe that when our first songs have begun to turn on the radio, ” says Dylan Phillips.

The output of the Sun Leads Me On, in 2015, has consolidated the place of Half Moon Run in quebec’s musical landscape. Three Félix awards won at the Gala of the ADISQ awards over the years testify to this.

At the ADISQ awards, 2017

Finally, a Juno

Strangely, even if the success of the group exceeded the borders of Quebec, it is only this year, thanks to their third album, A Blemish in the Great Light, that Half Moon Run has won his first Juno award.

They have beautiful be proud of Quebec for the adoption, for canadian, English-Canadian, this award at the annual gala of the canadian music worth its weight in gold.

“I received more e-mails and text messages to the Juno that I’ve had for any of my birthdays in my life,” laughs Conner Molander.

“I did not expect that we win, given the competition in our category with Patrick Watson and Leonard Cohen. How can one win against Leonard Cohen ? “, questions Dylan Phillips.

Making good music that touches listeners right to the heart, is one tempted to respond to him.

A future three or four ?

In October 2019, in Montreal

The recent departure of Isaac Symonds back Half Moon Run to her original training as a trio. A fourth musician joins-t-he-possibly Dylan, Conner and Devon ?

“For the moment, we find our creativity to three. We meet several times a week. Soon, we will replay the old hardware to see how it sounds and if you must add someone else, ” responds Conner Molander.

“For the moment, says Dylan Phillips, we are going to try to operate the band to three. It is certainly a challenge. In the time of Dark Eyes, they did. But Isaac and me we played together a lot. We shared the roles of drummer, a bass player and keyboardist. Now that he’s gone, I find myself with pressure to find ways to make it work. “

Half Moon Run in a few lines

Training in Montreal in 2009-10

Dylan Phillips : vocals, drums, piano, keyboard

Conner Molander : vocals, guitar, keyboard, piano, pedal steel, bass, harmonica

Devon Portielje : vocals, guitar, piano, percussion

Ex-member from 2012 to 2020 Isaac Symonds

The main festivals

South By Southwest, The Old Ploughs, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Festival d’été de Québec, Osheaga, Leeds, Reading, Festival international de jazz de Montréal


2012 : Dark Eyes

2015 : Sun Leads Me On

2019 : A Blemish in the Great Light

2020 : Seasons of Change


2013 : Album or concert of the year – interpretation, other languages

2016 : quebec Artist having the most shown outside of Quebec

2017 : Show of the year – English


2020 : Album adult alternative of the year

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