Walk the Moon’s “Talking is Hard”
Erin McAuliffe | Sunday, December 7, 2014
For example, watching football is much more enjoyable now that I can think, “Oh, hey he’s in my finance class” or “I tripped in front of that guy last week.”
(Although, this common bond is prone to discernment as Charles Manson went to my high school.)
Walk the Moon is a four person indie-pop band from Cincinnati — my hometown. Before they made it big with their 2010 single “Anna Sun” — the one-take dance fueled music video has over 10 million views on YouTube — they did free concerts around Cincinnati. The audience would paint their faces with the extra face paint they would bring (a signature to their concerts) and enjoy their energetic stage presence that drew hoards of devoted fans to every sweaty concert.
At the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati in 2013, their set was more exciting and engaging than bigger, more experienced bands like Fun. or MGMT. It was during this set that they announced they were in the process of recording their next album — and it was released Nov. 28 with early streaming available on Spotify.
“Talking is Hard” is the up-tempo, danceable album I’ve been waiting for. The record mixes the band’s signature pop beats with eighties stylings and lively lyrics. The radio and parties have both picked up the single “Shut Up and Dance” — and it requires you to do just that. However, belting out the catchy lyrics is also an option.
“Up 2 U” builds into a Chris Martin-esque falsetto that drops into a scrappy guitar and drum jam session. Although somewhat jarring, it fulfills the ideal of the “this is the best part” music listening mentality.
“Down in the Dumps” features a heavy eighties influence, with synthy keyboard riffs that sound like they could fit in Gary Numan’s 1979 hit single “Cars.” The eighties influence is a little much, however, frontman Nicholas Petricca’s vocals carry the track out of the past and into today’s danceable, shout along realms.
“Work This Body” has a tribal feel with bongos and swirly chants and bird-calls, adding depth to the album.
“Spend Your $$$” offers a funny, ironic commentary on today’s consumerist culture with lyrics like, “So I shop my face off at Urban / just trying to look a little more like myself” and “I’m not sure what’s more disarming / than fake breasts and miniature terriers.”
Songs like “We Are The Kids,” “Portugal” and “Come Under The Covers” instill that wanderlust, young love, “this is probably on someone’s Pinterest board” feel.
The breathy, slowed down “Aquaman” will leave you envisioning “slow dancing in the darkness” as you dive deep into love with this album.
The danceable melodies and charming lyrics leave this album at the borderline between indie and trying-too-hard-to-be-indie pop, but the strong vocals, inventive guitar and drum parts and overall consistent strength of the album prove it to be more than a frilly work that will produce a couple of Billboard singles.
“Talking is Hard” is an upbeat, chanty album will have you jumping, singing and moonwalking.
4 shamrocks out of 5
Label: RCA Records
Tracks: “Up 2 U,” “Portugal,” “Shut Up and Dance”
If You Like; Grouplove, The 1975