Review: WALK THE MOON – What If Nothing

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WALK THE MOON leave us in tears of both heartache and joy through the powerful new release of What If Nothing.

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WALK THE MOON return with their fourth studio album What if Nothing after a few years of rest following the success of TALKING IS HARD and it’s biggest single, ‘Shut Up And Dance’ in 2014. Whilst not necessarily known for their specific albums, WALK THE MOON have released incredible songs over the years that we might not necessarily have coupled with their name. For instance, ‘Anna Sun’ from their first album I want! I want! is one of those songs that you just recognise instantly without knowing how, whether it’s from when it was used in the background of The Vampire Diaries or when some YouTube personality covered it. Personally, I discovered the band through an old school 8tracks summer playlist and have since been completely besotted by their amazing musical abilities, every song telling an intense, emotional and extremely passionate story.

Their latest, What If Nothing certainly does not disappoint. Prepare to find yourself cosmically transported into a bountiful collection of splendid love and heartbreaking stories. The electronic sound of this album goes hand in hand with the lead singer and keyboardist Nick Petricca. His twitter bio which reads, “animal foreverchild lightwarrior musicman medicineman songwriter scientist birddancer wavesurfer fox” conjures up an image of some sort of  alien enigma and this is certainly reflected through the album’s artwork and promo. The cosmic sound comes through on essentially every track of What If Nothing – it’s littered with different types of synthetic noises combined with overlapping vocals, a perfect example being in ‘Sound of Awakening’. The six minute track resonates a sort of spoken word or slam poetry type style with a minimalistic accompaniment of mere voice echoing. Whilst this is most evident in this particular track, the effect murmurs through the album on each individual piece.

Despite the incredible musical ability WALK THE MOON have, it is through the lyrics where we find the most heartbreaking and engaging material. ‘Surrender’ is certainly one of the most raw tracks on the album. Written in a jungle in Nicaragua, it discusses the vulnerability after a breakup, the lyrics being especially poignant, whether or not you can personally relate (“Just try to find a face that make me feel something/And for all the pretty mouths and pretty words that turned me out”). These five minutes of pure emotion are intensified by Petricca’s powerful vocals combined with the steady climatic beat. This song will be incredible to witness live which will hopefully become a reality when WALK TO MOON come to tour in the UK next year.

Whilst there are songs focusing on vulnerability, the more upbeat and much more cheerful songs cannot be overlooked. ‘One Foot’ was the first single released from WHAT IF NOTHING and is accompanied by an exciting music video where we see the band performing in some sort of derelict mountain range, all jumping around having the time of their lives. The pure energy from the brilliant steady beat of the song and their enthusiastic performance really does come through and I was left dancing round the room singing along at the top of my lungs with them. Same goes for their track ‘All Night’, which contains lyrics such as “Wildlife looking for a ride home”. Innocent on their own, but when paired with the rest of the lyrics you can make the assumption of a cheeky one night stand!

Whilst being potentially labeled as a one hit wonder after the success of ‘Shut Up And Dance’, WALK THE MOON certainly deserve a more respectful recognition after this absolute journey of a fourth album, bringing all sorts of feelings of melancholy, happiness, and just pure ecstasy to light through the incredible vocals, lyrics and sound of What if Nothing.

What if Nothing is out now via RCA Records

 

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Final year English Literature student with a passion for books, sushi and George Ezra.

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