Music Spotlight: Walk The Moon "Talking is Hard" Review
Looking for fun music to play at your upcoming holiday party? If you haven’t heard of Walk the Moon, you should most definitely check them out. If you like indie/pop-rock that will put you in a feel good “dancy” mood, but will also connect to you with simple yet emotionally adorable lyrics about love, relationships, and just living up life, you probably will enjoy this upbeat foursome. I actually saw Walk the Moon live over the summer when I attended a Panic! At the Disco concert (I have always been Brendon Urie’s biggest fan, go ahead judge away-- middle school realness), whom they opened for. I remember being pleasantly surprised at how well they commanded a room and got everyone dancing and participating.
Walk the Moon consists of lead vocalist Nicholas Petricca, bass player Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman on drums and Eli Maiman on guitar. Not only are these four young men super cute “hipster musician” types, but they seem to have a colorful and light hearted quality about them that helps the band stand out. Their first single that popularized their debut album was called, “Anna Sun” which was a summer hit in 2011 (I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, if not check it out!). Well now they are on to album number two, so we can only expect that the band would (as band’s most traditionally do) deviate slightly from the same style of the first album but maintain a similar flavor.
Talking is Hard is an album that surprised me in many ways, and all of those ways were positive. The album keeps the pop/rock dance songs on point, but adds a lot more synth and abstract electronic elements to replace the mostly guitar riffs on the first album. However, something I loved about this album was that I still knew I was listening to Walk the Moon. They didn’t try to do anything too ambitious or out there to try to show their “versatility” as a band, and what they did change only enhanced what they were already good at. The single off this album is by far most likely the best song on it, “Shut Up and Dance” , which you can listen to below.
If that isn’t the catchiest and most amazing hook you've ever heard, I don’t know what else to tell you. The entire album holds a bit of a hopeful and curious vibe in regards to romance. Many of the lyrics remind me of when I would have a crush on someone, and the whole “will we or won’t we” game would be played. This album is NOT serious. It is youthful lyrically and even instrumentally for the most part, but that is something I find really refreshing. Songs like “Sidekick”, “Down in the Dumps” and “We are the Kids” give a positive refreshing feel with charming lyrics (“Sidekick” is particularly adorable). However, the album shows more depth and the band draws upon it’s indie/rock roots in songs such as “Up 2 U” (My personal favorite) and "Spend Your $$$", in which some surprising guitar riffs and vocals sort of jump out unexpectedly. Petricca has always been an impressive lead vocalist in my opinion, and he really shows his versatility on this album in the more rock heavy songs, where he can surprisingly scream in all his “Adam Lambert-esq” pop/rock glory.
Petricca’s vocals have a certain level of sass, but a clear and strong timbre which is perfect for the band's indie/pop sound. The album’s opening song “Different Colors” (another personal favorite of mine), opens the album in a way that gives you a taste of what’s to come, while simultaneously making you you want to dance and just enjoy life. Walk the Moon has also always been particularly drum and percussion heavy, and you will definitely hear them go bananas on the bongo drums in a few of these tracks, adding almost a tribal, but super fun, party vibe.
The last song on the album, surprisingly, is the only track which really deviates in musical flavor than the rest. “Aquaman” is a slow and steady almost “90’s-esque" ballad about letting go and surrendering to love. I was a little iffy on it at first, but the more I listened to it, it grew on me and I believe it was a beautiful and sincere way to end the album.
Walk the Moon’s Talking is Hard is now available to download on ITunes, listen to on Spotify, and purchase in stores near you!
Twitter: @ kellbellmccarth