What If? Moonlight Parade – Album Review

At some stage I will have to stop referencing lockdown as almost everything I write about comes from this period of my life.

Its difficult though especially as it was this time that allowed me to get my head in order/fall apart again and listen to more music then I have ever. Oh and write about it – mostly!

A constant during this time has been the music of Moonlight Parade, whilst I am not religious in anyway, I do believe a hell of a lot in fate and what will be, will be. Their music came to me and many others at exactly the right time and lit up my soul and ears in equal measures.

And just as year 2 of The Rona Years comes to a close, the Moonlight boys have dropped album number 3 – What If?

Moonlight Parade seem to beguile and enchant everyone that hears them, maybe because coming from Worthing they have some kind of Seaside power? During these last few years I have listened to 1000’s of songs and shared with many, I would say that only about a handful of artists receive universal praise and at the top of that list arguably is Moonlight Parade. Therefore, there is a lot of pressure and expectation for them to deliver the goods on What If.

Fears were probably nullified based on the singles that were released leading upto the album launch – Amsterdam, Hanging Around, No Way of Knowing and Wake me up whetted the appetite with their jangletastic catchy tunes that rekindles the best of Echo & The Bunnyman, Velvet Underground, The Stone Roses etc.

The album isn’t padded out by these songs though, far from it. In fact they have probably left the best on the album to be found by the listener and what a treat you will have doing so.

Amsterdam kicks the album off with its chiming intro and tales of a trip to the ‘Dam and making sure you wear sun block – Ben’s lyrics weave magical visions and potray the scene perfectly – this is the type of song that will be sung back to them at every gig they play.

The Way I Feel is up next and to say this is a classic song that incorporates all the best aspects of the band is an understatement – it’s a classic 3 minute indie pop song that Guy Chadwick of The House Of Love would applaud. It’s as heartwarming as anything you will hear or have heard before.

Tune after tune bursts out of my speakers, Brother is another favourite of the new songs – having a brother myself it speaks to me – again Ben’s lyrics painting the picture in a wonderful Bob Ross way. Awkward is anything but and I can see this being a fan favourite as well.

All the way through the album you wonder how the band can keep the bar so high, credit must go to Steve on lead guitar, weaving magic from every chord, its not bombastic or too in your face and echoes the likes of Marr & Squire at their most reflective. Al B, holds the sound together with his excellent bass playing and production, in fact the bass on his song No Way of Knowing is pure Revolver Tax Man or Start by The Jam – its incredible actually. And Ben the front guy who sounds so fragile but assured in his role – bringing the songs to life but also making you want to give him a hug.

The best is left for the end of the album – White Horses is just beautiful and I actually haven’t found the right words to describe it enough and do it justice. So I will leave it there.

Ending with You Know Me Better – Ben sings about the dull British weather the daily talking point in this messed up country. A beautiful (not a sea shanty) trip on a boat – music dipping up and down like a ship on the waves – only a band from Worthing could do such a song justice I’d guess.

Album 3 in the bag then – a body of work now in place that can be held up and judged against the classics that have come before and rightfully be claimed as a future classic of its time and space.

What If? Is Available now – you can purchase and download via the bands Bandcamp page:

https://moonlightparade.bandcamp.com/

They are also on tour with a gig next Sunday 12th December Amersham Arms, New Cross, London with tickets available here:

https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/London/Amersham-Arms/Moonlight-Parade–Teenage-Waitress–Lewca-with-SOAP/35868401/

And they kick off 2022 with a headline spot at London Water-rats on the 22nd January hosted by those lovely In Your Ears Music and #FNL people:

https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/London/The-Water-Rats/FNL-PRESENTS-MOONLIGHT-PARADE–GUESTS/35827742/

Let me know what you think.

PNL

Michael

P.S I dedicate this review to Gary New Indie Sounds who loves this band and is a top fella.

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