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January’s Album of the Month is the self-titled release from Cincinnati-based rockers Walk The Moon.
Walk the Moon’s self-titled debut on RCA Records was released this past June, so its christening as Album of the Month for this month isn’t exactly timely. Furthermore, as any WTM devotee will gladly point out, many of the songs from Walk the Moon are even older because they appear on WTM’s independently released record i want! i want! from back in 2010. Arguably, Walk the Moon has already been the new “must-see” band. WTM has received public exposure and is no longer an unknown member of the underground indie scene.
Naturally then, the question may arise amongst fans who have been busying supporting the group since 2010, “Why celebrate the record now seemingly after the fact?”
The first part of my answer to that is that while we might be approaching the end of the first chapter in the story of Walk the Moon, January 2013 marks the beginning of another. Just this month alone, Walk the Moon will return to Boston to perform a sold-out show at the Paradise Rock Club as well as release their Tightrope EP, which features two new songs as well as a live cover of the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.” At this moment in time, Walk the Moon is perched at the crossroads between its initial burst into stardom and its imminent rise to alt-rock glory, and as listeners, we must appreciate that.
Secondly, the album Walk the Moon deserves additional recognition and attention now because it is exactly the kind of music we need at this point of the season. The holidays are long passed and we have settled into the portion of winter which is often categorized as long, cold, and bleak. Walk the Moon is an explosion of color and heat in an otherwise dismal time of year.
While summer may seem like an eternity away, energized anthems of flirtatious fun like “Quesadilla,” “Lisa Baby,” and “Jenny” give us some sunlight to hold on to in the meantime. As the album opener, the eccentrically titled “Quesadilla” sets the tone for the rest of the record, introducing the listener to the inescapable synthesizer and starry-eyed romanticism that define Walk the Moon. “Lisa Baby” finds the indie-rockers exploring the “rock” part of their name with an infectious guitar rift that eventually climaxes with a fiery solo while “Jenny” blends catchy dance floor-ready sounds with a chorus begging for a sing-a-long.
“Jenny’s got a body just like an hour glass,” lead singer Nicholas Petricca belts out with a cheeky smile on the track. “But I’m taking my time, I’m taking my time.”
Although many of the songs on Walk the Moon share a similar sense of warm, sexy fun, it is not to say that the guys from Cincinnati have limited their sound as a group. One of the album’s surprising stand-outs is “Iscariot,” a haunting ballad, reminiscent of the slower tracks on Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto. In “Iscariot,” the band trades their light, energetic tone for one of genuine remorse and woe.
“Oh you know you had it coming my friend, my friend,” Petricca practically cries over the slow, ominous drum beat.
Of course, one cannot discuss Walk the Moon without mentioning the mega hit, “Anna Sun.” Ranked by multiple media outlets as the top song of the summer of 2012, “Anna Sun” is an honest and heartfelt ode to youth and college-living that effectively propelled WTM out from the underground and into the public eye. While hardcore WTM fans may have mixed feelings about the monster success that “Anna Sun” brought, it is undeniably a highlight for how it encapsulates and brings to a peak all of the youthful energy, color, and sunlight flowing throughout Walk the Moon.
Ultimately, “Anna Sun” also contains an optimistic reminder to avid and casual fans alike who are searching for warmth and sunshine as well as possible new music from their beloved Walk the Moon: “Wait for summertime, wait for summertime.”