Anenon returns with a highly anticipated new album ‘Moons Melt Milk Light’, bearing his most personal, expressive, and arresting works to date. Anenon is the ongoing solo studio and live project of Brian Allen Simon, whom since 2010 has released multiple albums and EPs to critical acclaim, including the highly revered ‘Tongue’ (2018) and ‘Petrol’ (2016).
"I feel a kinetic and messy honesty that doesn't exist in any of the other music I've ever made. There is also a sense of being settled, of calm. There is no faking it here.”
‘Moons Melt Milk Light’ is direct, efficient, and unwavering in its immediacy. Anenon departs from the electronics of previous works, and embarks on a reductive, almost entirely acoustic approach consisting of piano, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, and field recordings. All of the music was improvised with everything recorded as either a first or second take with no edits. Any layering happened fast and in the moment, and yet the sonic architecture of the whole feels both planned and refined.
The opener ‘Untitled Skies’ acts as prologue with flourishing solo tenor saxophone and sustained piano lines, before dampened footsteps and bird calls from field recordings echo — a scene is set. The album's undeniably emotive and nocturnal title track follows with sharp poignancy, inspired directly from an ongoing deep connection and dialogue to his LA surroundings. “I would take evening walks in my neighborhood, and I felt in awe of what I deemed an autumnal milky quality of light at dusk. This light felt like a seemingly unending flash, and was something that I wanted to evoke in the playing and meshing of instruments.” Simon shifts focus on ‘Maine Piano’, a beguiling solo piano piece ahead of ‘Night Painting I’, which features further breathy saxophone and bass clarinet counterpoints, embellished with immersive field recordings.
Brian also confronts the subject of personal loss and anguish with a deep sincerity as a solemn through-line pervades the album's 11 tracks. Notes are eloquently delivered with grace and the message is one of hope with a palpable human quality. Non-diegetic field recordings were taken in Maine (USA), London (UK), and the Auvergne (FR), and reveal evocative and personal interactions as heard in the album's centre points. ‘As it is When it Appears’ glows with the ambience of French voices resounding an evening's interplay before a spaciously muted piano overtakes. The rained in ‘Champeix’ captivates with a seductive and wild romanticism, played out by its connective saxophone and piano layers, each gliding up and down their respective scales. Swirling bass clarinet lines vigorously pour out of ‘Night Painting II’, and ‘Endings (Solo)’ hits with a virtuosic, yet tender tenor saxophone take. The album closer ‘Sightless Eyes (N16)’ brings everything full circle — after an intro of 5 AM NE London birds singing, piano, tenor saxophone, and bass clarinet coalesce in expressive tactilities; a sonic image of an intuitively robust and in the room harmony.
The production of ‘Moons Melt Milk Light’ began in the autumn of 2022, and was recorded at home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, informed in part by an acoustic collaboration with the artist Susan Cianciolo during the vernissage of her 2022 Paris exhibition, RUN 14: FIELD of existence, as well as solo performances mostly at casual non-venues such as wine bars and inns around Europe that same year. It was the combination of these experiences that led Brian to pursue this immediate approach of improvised acoustic instrumentation.
Moons Melt Milk Light is a hyper-personal statement contained in a visceral beauty, a compact record of threadbare honesty and musical prowess seldom found in the musical art form. It is a search for light out of dark, for the tangible and tactile, and yet like most art of staying power, the results remain ephemeral and elusive, a beauty just out of reach.
“Loss has been a constant (in my life), and I wanted to express a deep acceptance of this, but also a pervasive feeling that these kinds of sadnesses are what beauty is derived from, that it doesn't come from perfection. I find the idea of perfect beauty completely banal. Tension matters.”