This one belongs to fans of Sounds Under Radio, Suite 709 and Alpha Rev (all previous bands we’ve covered). Moonlight Social are another band that won’t be getting a whole lot of indie blog love because they’re much more mainstream-oriented than the kinds of groups covered by a site like, say, Austin Town Hall. Like the aforementioned bands, they should be finding their songs on television shows and adult contemporary radio stations any day now. I’m not a fan of everything on their recent self-titled EP, but they have a couple of really good, radio-worthy tracks which portend potential commercial success.
Jennica Scott and Jeremy Burchard are the heart and soul of this group (though I imagine that they have more playing with them live) which just won the Austin Chronicle Sound Wars with their song “Neither Are You” – undoubtedly a contest-winning-worthy track. Scott channels Natalie Merchant, and Burchard’s arrangement places the song squarely alongside other KGSR regulars like Matt Nathanson, Mat Kearney, and Imelda May. The music has just the right amount of bittersweetness for the lyrics’ sentiments, and Scott really sells her delivery. The other EP highlight for me is the appropriately-named slow burner “Slow Release (Wounds to Words).” I feel the same about this one as I did about Sounds Under Radio’s epic ballads. The song takes its time and builds around a sweet guitar melody and stomping bass drum into inevitable melodramatic melancholy. Apparently, I have a real soft spot for these kinds of tracks. But even on my least favorite song, “Even If,” I really like the melodic contour of the refrain, “You got me where you want me / Even if you don’t want me at all.” I don’t think the lyrics make any sense, but Moonlight Social’s gift for pop melodies render that irrelevant; it’s just a great moment of songwriting.
There’s a lot of potential with this group. Give “Neither Are You” a listen, head here to support them and buy the EP and then check out Moonlight Social at Sunday’s Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival where they share the bill with other OVRLD-featured artists Schmillion and the Bright Light Social Hour.