Album Review: "The Moonlight Club" by The Moonlight Club

The Moonlight Club’s most recent effort, the self-titled full-length album, is their most consistent and cohesive work to date. Recorded over a nine-day period at Breakglass Studios with David Smith (Patrick Watson, Elephant Stone, Leif Vollebekk), the album showcases the band’s authentic blend of folk-rock and 80’s new wave. With tight, impressive drum work and guitar tones that Johnny Marr would be proud of, the Moonlight Club have created a strong, diverse album that takes the listener on a journey from energetic rock to sweeping balladry. 

With their upbeat singles ‘A Little Too Much’ and ‘Are You Up?’, The Moonlight Club flex their song-writing chops and improve upon the already strong sound created with their first EP: 2015’s ‘Words of Gold,’ also recorded and produced by Smith. Sharing lead vocal duty, Francois Royer Mireault and John Pankert sing their, at times cliché, but emotionally honest lyrics with conviction. The vocals, reminiscent of Adam Granduciel of the War on the Drugs, don’t always meet the intended note, a brave stylistic choice in a time of auto-tuned vocal perfection, but this choice pays off as it conveys the emotion laying within the lyrics. Stand-out track ‘Simon & Nico’ sees the band depart from their upbeat jangle pop, trading their 80’s inspired guitar for piano, creating an epic, sonic picture that helps the listener escape to a new place. 

With the grand organ solo that opens ‘Stranger’, to the distorted electric guitar intro of barn-burner ‘Black, Two Sugars’, The Moonlight Club displays their ability to craft engaging introductions that entice the listener, drawing them into each and every song. Ending with the raw, upbeat and energetic ‘Living Lost’, The Moonlight Club make a statement. They are telling the world that this album is just the beginning for them, and that the end is nowhere in sight. They sing, “I’m shoutin’ out loud, I’m cryin’ out loud, I feel like goin’ out, tonight”, on album highlight ‘Tonight’, which is a coincidence as they have constructed an album that is the perfect soundtrack for a night out on the town.