At its core, The Moon and You is a charismatic husband-and-wife team. Melissa Hyman plays cello, Ryan Furstenberg plays guitar and banjo, and both sing in “voices that sound like they were made for one another” (Bill DeYoung, Connect Savannah). But whatever you might assume based on their gorgeous vocal blend and heartfelt lyrics, this ain’t your basic folk duo. With a rotating cast of talented friends to add unexpected instrumentation to their lineup, The Moon and You never plays the same show twice. This ever-evolving, expandable and collapsible model leaves the band constantly reinventing itself in ways both surprising and satisfying.
Currently calling Asheville, NC home, Furstenberg and Hyman mix up a fresh blend of influences from very different backgrounds. Melissa grew up in the NYC area studying classical cello. Her dad is a professional violinist and formal music instructor, her mom a fan of 60s folk who loves to host a good old fashioned sing-along. Ryan was born and raised among the Eastern NC tobacco fields, learning classic country and 70s rock on harmonica and then guitar. His rich country baritone and easy Southern style bring an undeniable Americana flavor to the table.
Together, the two form a sound that is warm and inviting, atmospheric and playful. Each is a well developed songwriter with a distinctive voice, and their songs range in style from classic to quirky. Lyrics-driven and intellectual with a keen ear for arrangement, they make music perfectly suited to a listening room or a pair of good headphones.
Live on stage they are 100% themselves: funny, charming and slightly odd; communing with their audiences, warts and all. Performances evoke joyful eruptions of laughter, occasional tears, and moments of breathless awe.
Having joined forces as a band in 2011 and as a married couple in 2015, The Moon & You continues to develop professionally, personally and musically. The eagerly anticipated Spring 2016 release A White Light That Sings is the band’s first full-length, fully produced album. Without turning their back on the folky sweetness that characterized 2013’s acoustic EP The Ocean’s Lonely Daughter, The Moon & You evolve into something new with A White Light That Sings. The album moves with aplomb from bluegrass swagger to soulful searching, country twang to jazzy sophistication.
Described by Alli Marshall of the Mountain Xpress as “a glimpse into stories, moods and wonderful alternate realities — all set to an evocative score,” and by The Daily Country as “intriguing, and often beguiling, record that you should definitely give a listen,” A White Light That Sings is just one of many exciting steps forward for The Moon & You in 2016. The band can also add to their resumé a second full-length album slated for a Spring 2017 release date (Endless Maria), and multiple successful European tours. At once excitingly inventive and cozily familiar, the Moon & You continues to craft a sound all their own.
Photo by Evoke Emotion Photography.
“With Endless Maria, Asheville duo The Moon and You…hits the sweet spot between bouncy pop and something more substantial. Nominally, The Moon and You is a folk duo, but that label is far too limiting to capture the essence of the sounds found on Endless Maria… [D]elightful and guileless… timeless… Perfection.”
—Bill Kopp, Mountain Xpress. April 14, 2017.
“With The Moon and You’s latest release, an eight-song album entitled Endless Maria, the world has received a mature and self-assured piece of art…[A] distinct and beautifully arranged collection of songs… that demand to be taken seriously at the same time they achieve a cumulative levity, a disarming buoyancy. It’s refreshing to hear a band that’s able to be serious without taking itself—or the world—too seriously.”
—Alex McWalters, Asheville Grit. April 2017.
“A White Light that Sings…is a kind of world within a world. A dream within a dream. Each of the 11 songs is its own delightfully weird fiction…[with] shivery moments of sweetness and magic…a glimpse into stories, moods and wonderful alternate realities — all set to an evocative score.”
Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress. May 6, 2016.
“A White Light That Sings…[is] full of beautifully unique string arrangements, folk melodies, charming harmonies and thought provoking lyrics…an intriguing, and often beguiling, record that you should definitely give a listen.”
—The Daily Country. June 16, 2016.
“[A White Light That Sings] move[s] with aplomb from bluegrass swagger to soulful searching, country twang to jazzy sophistication. There's a generous spoonful here of the folky sweetness that characterized the band’s earlier EPs, but the new record is incontrovertible evidence of their technical and artistic growth. A White Light That Sings marks a turning point for The Moon and You, toward a bigger and more self-assured sound.”
—Asheville Citizen-Times. June 21, 2016.
“[M]usic you can prance around the house to, lay in someone’s loving arms to, drive down the country road with or take on a road trip and listen to. Their harmonies soar or zoom; natural and instinctive. Melodies like swooping birds or airplane glides and sometimes like carnival rides. Their lyrics like organically grown vegetables in the backyard, the roots of their varied rhythms played with no false hopes or pretenses. You’ll hear waltzes, two-steps, campfire strumming guitars, fingerpicking folk style, and you might envision ballerinas, tap and freestyle dancers. Ahhh, it’s just what you need.”
—Peggy Ratusz, WNC Woman. February 2016.
“‘Somewhere along the way, to the delight of some and distress of others, we decided we were funny people.’”
—Interview by Kyle Walker in What’s On, covering TM&Y’s first tour to Scotland. March 24, 2017
“As a music educator for multiple organizations like Arts for Life [LINK] and the Swannanoa Gathering [LINK], Hyman also felt compelled to involve youths in the event ‘so they can come up knowing how to speak out.’ Students at A.C. Reynolds High School were given a writing prompt on standing up for the truth, and based on the quality of writing and bravery of their message, three individuals will be asked to read their short literary work from the stage.”
—Kat McReynolds, Mountain Xpress. “Musicians and Students Pair Up for ACLU Benefit,” Dec. 31, 2016