Walk the Moon is a 4 piece electric rock and pop band from good ol’ Cincinnati, Ohio. Nicholas Petricca is the lead singer while also playing the keyboard and secondary percussion, Eli Maiman is on guitar, Kevin Ray plays bass, and Sean Waugaman is on drums. Walk the Moon gained fame with their song Anna Sun, which was released in November 2010 with their independently released debut album “I Want! I Want! I Want!”. Anna Sun has continued to gain traction through this past summer of 2012. It was named by Esquire magazine as the 2011 song of the summer, and by Seventeen and MTV Buzzworthy as the 2012 song of the summer.
This past June, Walk the Moon released their self-titled major-label debut album, which is absolute fun. In this case, I’m not referring to “fun.”, the band that they coincidentally supported on tour in Europe earlier this year. Walk the Moon’s sound successfully merges the use of traditional rock band instruments, with electronic synths and effects. It does so in a way that does not remind you of the mainstream sounds on the radio. The music is reminiscent of summer and youth. It has the right dosage of fun and is bound to make you jump on your feet in no time.
The album starts off with “Quesadilla”, a high-energy song with an infectious drum rhythm. The song accurately captures the feeling of a live performance because of the call and response between the drums and group vocals. Contrary to its title, the song has nothing to do with Quesadillas, but it is musically delicious. “Lisa Baby” is a grooving song with a deep crunchy bass line that strikes you in your core. Things get slowed down with “Next in Line”, but the energy of the first two songs is maintained. The song gets its power from Maiman on guitar, and the rhythms from both Waugaman on drum kit and Petricca on the floor tom. Petricca has a nice round sound in his upper register, and the other members provide strong vocal support, creating a balanced sound.
Anna Sun is the previously mentioned summer favourite. With whirling synths, vocal layers, and driving drum rhythms, it’s not hard to see why this song is considered the ‘gateway drug’ to all things Walk The Moon. The lyrics are somewhat repetitive, but the simplicity helps hook listeners and causes them to sing along even after a single listen. Change comes in the bridge when Petricca sings with minimal instrumental background. The lyrics “I want everyone / Racing down the hill / I am faster than you / Wait for summertime / Wait for summer time,” perfectly captures the feeling of childhood fun. “Tightrope” showcases the vocals of the whole group, and proves that each member is just as proficient at singing as they are at playing their instruments.
The chords used in “Jenny” create a mysterious kind of mood. The breakdown makes use of vocal layering, and builds energy as the lyrics “I’m not gonna take it from you / I’ll let you give it to me” repeats. “Shiver Shiver” requires the guys to sing in their falsettos during the chorus, and they do this astonishingly well. The instrumental track “Lions” is the one forgettable track on the album. It is an interesting choice to put an instrumental track on the album, because this is not something common in popular music albums today. The song acts mainly as an extended introduction to “Iscariot”. Still, it is not a song that gets any replays from me.
The next song, Iscariot, is the ballad of the album. It is less musically busy, but instead powerfully driven by vocals. I particularly enjoy the harmonies in the second verse when Petricca sings and the rest of the band sing the background vocals. The lyrics “My brother had it coming my friend, my friend / You know he had it coming my brother,” repeat to build energy. This song has a darker tone than the rest of the songs, and is a definite highlight of the album. The minimal use of instruments brings focus to the harmony and dissonance from the vocals.
“Fixin’” is another fun song that deals with the theme of tackling life’s surprises. I love when Nicholas ascends melodically in the second verse singing, “Imaginary lines / Shatter and shimmer” with such power. To wrap up the album, Walk the Moon empowers their listeners and with the uplifting song, “I Can Lift A Car”. The chorus of this song includes all four members singing, “Did you, did you / Did you know that / I can lift a car up / All by myself.” The band is able to create a sweet song that is filled with a true sense of optimism.
Purchasing Walk the Moon’s self-titled album is definitely worthwhile. With four voices they can create crowd vocals or complex harmonies as they layer their voices. Starkid and Glee actor, Darren Criss, has pointed out the brotherly love that is apparent in the group’s music. The fun and energetic music is very refreshing. Walk the Moon will ensure that you never let yourself forget to have fun.
Additionally, I recommend watching Walk the Moon’s acoustic performances on YouTube, where they creatively use cardboard boxes, drum cases, and luggage in the place of actual drums! After you pick up their album, you can catch Walk the Moon live in Vancouver at the VENUE on November 24th, 2012.
- Lisa Baby
- Next In Line
- Anna Sun
- Shiver Shiver
- I Can Lift A Car
Must-listens: Next In Line, Anna Sun, Iscariot, I Can Lift A Car.