Saturated with a colorful harmonization that could make a fan out of even the most discriminating of critics this month, Red Matter’s new single “Light of the Moon” isn’t a product of the ongoing minimalist pop movement in the international underground. Its construction is steeped in a liberal attitude towards melodic songcraft, and even when it’s treading familiar compositional waters, it never sounds even somewhat derivative of a mainstream sound.
“Light of the Moon” is, in some ways, sublimely rigid in a few of its most important spots, but in others, it’s so smooth and fluid that words like ethereal can’t help but come to mind. This is intriguing alternative music if I’ve ever heard any before, and although it doesn’t challenge the pedigree of its genre with the same degree of rebelliousness that an outright experimentalist’s material would, its stylization is still very pointed in all the ways that count for something. Red Matter is tending to a very exciting fire in this track, and having gotten lost in its sonic blaze just recently, I can vouch for its being one of the hottest and easiest listening songs of its kind out this April.
The lead vocal in “Light of the Moon” is more like a whisper than a serenade, but I don’t think it needed to be any louder in the grander scheme of things to make a substantial impact on the narrative. Lyrics are nothing without the right voice to bring them to life, and on this end, Red Matter is remarkably clean-cut with their execution.
There’s a very muscular instrumental melody in this track that contrasts heavily with the fragile nature of the verses, and frankly, it’s this aesthetical contradiction that supplies some of the biggest thrills between the single’s beginning and end. It would be interesting, at least for a critic like myself, to hear some of the rough cuts Red Matter recorded before presenting us with this polished take on “Light of the Moon,” as I have a strong feeling they would support this diverse persona as a band.
I wasn’t aware of Red Matter before getting a glimpse at this new single just recently, but “Light of the Moon” is an intriguing introduction to their sound. In the last few years, there’s been a spike in postmodernity in pop music that anyone who follows the genre hasn’t been able to ignore, and to some extent, this track takes some of the fractured elements from the movement as a whole and streamlines them for the needs of the occasional pop fan.
There are some cerebral components in “Light of the Moon” that I think Red Matter needs to consider experimenting with just a little more than they did here in the future, but whatever the case may be, I’m going to keep their output on my radar throughout the next year. This is a fantastic time to be a music enthusiast, and underground bands that are making great soft rock like this one are the primary reason why.
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