Three-piece indie-pop act Moon Days hail from south Jersey yet their sound isn’t anywhere near the grittiness that their surroundings would suggest. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Over the course of the four years they’ve been playing together Moon Days have released a handful of EPs which are rooted in down tempo Beatlesque pop. On their latest EP The Light the band continue to hone their skills of crafting bright and spritely pop tunes while also trying to experiment here and there with bits of synthesized folk and rock and even some sampling.
The Light opens with the straightforward acoustic pop tune “Put Me Out.” Its lyrics relate the story of a breakup and sung in a voice that is sad but not begging for sympathy. It’s from the perspective of a young man who is in the thick of the ruins, “The sirens sound uncountable / Smokin' the air that you ruined / Turning around what was capable / Now burned, and ashed, and you're crumbling down / Well put me out / Put me out.” Contrast this with the minstrely folk pop ballad “I’m Happy,” a six-minute song which contains lovely bits of flute.
But about halfway through is where the synths and sounds kick in and it makes the tune reminiscent of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. This strange bridge seemed out of place at first but after a few spins became completely natural and I couldn’t imagine the song without it.
Experiments aside the lo-fi yet powerful ballad “He Will Be Here Tonight” is more of what I wanted to hear from a band like Moon Days. The song is simple, just some guitars and flute, and a few claps of tambourine and well-harmonized vocals. This flows into the piano ballad “Coincidence” which picks up steam half-way through, and turns into a pretty rocking jam. Then comes the space-echo elegance of “Is This the Afterlife??” and then closes out with the warm acoustic and flute–laden “Delaware.”
I wasn’t expecting much more than the usual ho-hum pop rock record when I popped on The Light, but I became pleasantly surprised and then engrossed as the record progressed. Moon Days showed me The Light and I’m happy to have heard it.
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