When Moon High first flickered into the Columbus consciousness in late 2007, it was after months of building momentum behind the scenes.
"We didn't initially think of it turning into a band," singer-guitarist David Fowler explained.
At first, the spectral folk combo was more of a studio side project for Fowler, then known as a punk and indie rock drummer, and his friend Ryan Wells, who was living in Cincinnati at the time. Inspired by last decade's freak folk revival and the long-lost folk and country records that preceded it, they holed up at Fowler's house and conceived their debut album long before unveiling its glow-in-the-dark live show.
"Every weekend was spent recording all night until we finished that record," Wells said. "I used to come up here every weekend and we wouldn't go out Friday or Saturday night. We would just record."
Since then, Moon High began playing out and evolved into a formidable, well-traveled live band with Fowler and Wells joined by Blake Pfister on drums and Summer Sherman on flute and bass. The glowing orbs have been supplanted by a cohesive voice and a deft sonic touch.
"We just sort of fell into our roles," Wells said.
So when they approached their sighing paean of a sophomore LP "Six Suns," to be released Saturday at Rumba Cafe, it was from the opposite direction. Having worked out the music live, they needed to translate it to the studio.
That was more tedious than expected, lasting almost two years. But the result feels natural and warm, a soft-hued portrait of a delicately honed unit.
Now they're freed up to approach new horizons at last, though not before celebrating "Six Suns."
"We couldn't move forward until this was done," Wells said. "We can do whatever we want now."