For some odd reason, whenever someone mentions indie-pop, I immediately think of the Britpop bands from the 1990s – Dodgy, Supergrass, Blur, Pulp. I’m not sure why but, for some reason, ‘Alright’ and ‘Staying Out For The Summer’ are the go-to options. I know for a fact that some of the best indie-pop artists are non-British. Can you name any indie-pop fan who doesn’t know the joy of German band Fool’s Garden or, more recently, the US band The Lumineers?
I’m naming names and reminding people of some of their favourite songs from the 90s; so, where does Moonroof fall into all of this? Moonroof is one of the more interesting indie-pop bands from the 2010s.
Moonroof was formed in 2016 in Bloomsburg – a small college town in Pennsylvania. Most people begin bands with roommates, old school friends or that friend of a friend who happens to be into the same music as you. Moonroof, originally called The Big Picture, met in a university dorm and began their musical adventure. After graduating from Bloomsburg University, vocalist Dave Kim, lead guitarist Danny Walsh and drummer Dan Rendine headed to Philadelphia to take over the world with some instruments.
In April 2018, Moonroof released a debut EP entitled Good Luck Out There that was well-received among independent music blogs and radio stations. The Band Camp Diaries noted Good Luck Out There to be a “really personal EP due to the energy of their performances and the electrifying feel of their sound.” A couple of years later and Moonroof continues to share an electrifying sound with their new single ‘Magazine’.
Moonroof’s ‘Magazine’ is resonant of The 1975, Declan MacKenna and The Magic Gang. It has a flowing rhythm of The 1975 but with the upbeat pop harmony of Declan MacKenna. Not only is their style similar to these artists but also the narrative of their tracks – a personal exploration of human behaviour and emotion. I’m not saying Moonroof falls short when compared to The 1975 but the influences are definitely noted.
‘Magazine’ is a single discussing the effect of time and age on a person, particularly in today’s pop culture. The aim to be attractive, fashionable, favoured and “the best” is more evident now than in previous decades. Personally, I blame YouTube and social media but that’s another post altogether.
‘Magazine’ details the life of a young, attractive model and how she is unable to deal with life after her looks fade. The lyrics “she always wants the attention; God love her, she was prom queen” proves their point that while youth holds excitement and opportunity, it does not last. Nothing lasts forever and staying happy means one needs to be comfortable with their inner self. Unfortunately, the pressure of contemporary culture and fitting in promotes feelings of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Perhaps this is why no-one believes in happy endings any longer. Ironically, ‘Magazine’ explores the lack of self-confidence and conformity while maintaining an original style with a unique expression.
Adopting a clear examination of mental states and music is one of the ways Moonroof approaches audiences across the board. Clearly following in the footsteps of the great indie-pop bands, Moonroof is a step away from being that standard to which new indie-pop bands aspire. The energetic, melodic and anthemic track shows how a US group does Britpop better than the Brits.