London-based 6-piece Neon Gru released their debut EP ‘I Am A Bird’ in March, an eclectic and imaginative blend of sounds and styles that bears the mark of great musicianship.
To promote the EP, they released a music video for ‘Moonlight’, track number 4 of the release. The music video was directed by Anna Andersen and Stephanie Sutherland, featuring the latter as choreographer and dancer evocative of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.
‘Moonlight’ is an atmospheric yet vibrant alt-pop track that strays boldly from formulaic song writing.
It is a five-minute musical journey that draws you in from the start, with tasty tones from the guitar and keys setting the stage before a Radiohead King Of Limbs-esque drum beat rolls us through to the verse. Ny Oh’s smooth and acrobatic vocals come in here and sound great throughout. The guitars and keys dance around the lead vocals until the two-minute mark where there is the first main tonal shift on ‘overcomplicated’.
We hear the first backing vocals, spreading out the sound stage, and simultaneously the drums open out to a side-sticked bossa beat with a more major tonality which really contrasts nicely from what came before. Atmospheric guitars and keys continue to noodle in both ears until we reach the music punchline on the lyrics “A beautiful star / Hiding in the moonlight…”
After a moment’s reflection, the music takes a darker turn, with a restless bass riff underscoring menacing pick scrapes on guitar and soundscape elements. Ny Oh’s vocals, previously pure in tone, returns with a distortion effect with the hook, “Coming in hot, I’ve been waiting…”, on repeat with growing arrangements underneath, until the production opens out with the band’s backing vocals taking up the hook and Ny Oh ad-libbing on top in a dramatic climax of the song.
The track dies down again with the return of the familiar verse drum beat and distorted vocalising bringing us to the close of the piece.
‘Moonlight’ deviates notably from verse-chorus structure we are so used to. It is more of an A/B, with everything before the build-up as section A, and “coming in hot” to the end as section B. This, and constantly evolving arrangement, makes for a really interesting and engaging track which really doesn’t feel like five minutes.
We hope you enjoy this introduction to Neon Guru’s music and their debut EP ‘I Am A Bird’. It is definitely worth checking out the other tracks on the record. Find out more below: