As published in L.A. Record:
I became indoctrinated into the world of the Moon Upstairs at a Syd Barrett tribute night at Bordello a few months back, catching their super-chilled out version of Pink Floyd’s “Matilda Mother.” Though I’d heard just one song (and a cover at that), I immediately knew that this band was onto something big and couldn’t wait to scramble home and start Googling my amazing new find. After touring and collaborating with the very talented neo-soulster Cody Chesnutt, the Moon Upstairs became the full-time project of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Sharif Dumani and bassist Aaron Ebensperger. Taking their name from a Mott the Hoople song and citing Pink Floyd, George Harrison, the Plastic Ono Band and Funkadelic as influences, the band is no mere psychedelic/folk throwback band, managing to simultaneously wear their influences on their sleeves while putting a fresh spin on the genre. After adding Mark Sogomian, Josh Mancell and Dave Baine to the lineup, the Moon Upstairs released their first record just two months ago on Gifted Children Records (same label as Women and Children and psychedelic legends Silver Apples). It’s a remarkably ambitious debut album of epic proportions, replete with infectious pop hooks, soaring harmonies, baroque psychedelic sounds and incredible string arrangements by Lavender Diamond’s Steve Gregoropoulos. It won’t take long for the rest of the world to discover the band’s monumental talent, so catch them at a free show while you can.