The upbeat and optimistic tone of the initial collaboration between musician, actor, and writer Johnny Flynn and nature enthusiast Robert Macfarlane, known as Lost in the Cedar Wood in 2021, provided a glimmer of hope during the difficult times of the pandemic. The inspiration for this second project was much more pleasant – some of the songs were created while taking walks on the South Downs (especially Song With No Name) rather than through exchanging WhatsApp messages and voice recordings during the lockdown. However, the same elements that made the first album so enjoyable are still present: uplifting and strong English folk music, presented by Flynn, with a blend of traditional and contemporary themes in their co-written lyrics.
This is a tale divided into two halves, with one side featuring the vibrant and contemporary wassail song The Sun Also Rises. The beginning is lively, despite covering heavy topics such as funerals, death traditions, and artificial intelligence. The latter half is more subdued and reflective, with the pandemic-influenced Year-Long Winter symbolizing the gradual melting of the cold and darkness to make way for new beginnings. With a mix of jubilation and contemplation, The Moon Also Rises is a delight.