Moon Looks oN...the story
Stephen Gormley performs music under the name “Moon Looks On”.
During the last couple of years spent back home in his native Sligo, Moon Looks On has been working away quietly on an album of true to the bone folk and roots music which is directly inspired by his time spent in the OX mountains in the NW of Ireland“
Photo: Molly Keane
A regular on the Irish gig circuit, Stephen is a full-time musician who swapped his decks for a guitar 10 years ago. He says: “I grew up surrounded by books and music and was a DJ for several years before I picked up a guitar, but from the moment I learned my first chords, a thirst for language in the form of song engulfed me.” Stephen met his band mates when he moved to Dublin to study music. He describes them as “incredibly creative people who share an appreciation of life, laughter, banter and friendship.” After the independent release of their debut EP, simply titled ‘Moon Looks On’, the band were invited to play at St. James’ Church at Other Voices, as part of the IMRO Other Room special that was broadcast on RTE 2fm. Describing their sound, Tony Rea (Other Voices) said: “The easy outline for Moon Looks On is a bit of Van Morrison mixed with a bit of The Waterboys.” Two more self-released singles followed - ‘Pray for the Rain’ and ‘Summertime in Bloom’. Stephen White of The Last Mixed Tape described ‘Pray for the Rain’ as having “a warm folk sound, interwoven musicality and heartfelt vocals.” Moon Looks On continued to receive steady attention from fans and media alike, with radio play in Ireland and the UK. Producer Mike Hedges (The Cure/Manic Street Preachers/Travis) described Stephen’s compositions as “words and songs from the head and heart”.
Notable live appearances include Sligo Live, Electric Picnic, Westport Arts Festival, Knockanstockan, Somerset House in London and renowned 2000 Trees festival in The Cotswolds, UK. Stephen also played no less than three sets at Glastonbury Festival which he describes as “a truly amazing experience". Having been booked to play two solo shows in the Croissant Neuf Field, Stephen was asked to perform a thirty-minute slot on the Croissant Neuf main stage in the Green Fields - the first stage that Ed Sheeran ever played at Glastonbury.
Moon Looks On continued playing more gigs and recording their Album at Windmill Lane, where studio producers asked the band to represent the studio as an up and coming artist they are working with, for a host of invited music influencers, bloggers and journalists from across the globe.
Friends Keep Dropping, Razor Wire Skies and Sorry State Blues were the first 3 singles released off the album pre covid with these tracks gaining lots of attention globally including addition to the prestigious New Music Friday UK Spotify playlist.
In March 2022 the band released “Different Places, Different Games “ and Stephen also released a solo version of another track “Bird On Fire” which was added to a number of high profile playlists including the alt folk playlist curated by Big Sun Records. In 2023 he released a 4-track EP on Cauldron Records entitled 'Way Out West' which is a precursor to the album due for release early 2024.
Photo: Molly Keane