The first time I can remember hearing a synth I was about 4 or 5 years old. It was “Jump” from Van Halen on MTV at my cousin’s house. Of course, I knew all about musical instruments. My dad was a musician so I already knew what instrument made what sound. But in the music video, I couldn’t figure out how that skinny piano sounded like an orchestra. Since then, every single time I hear anything with synth, I think about that. As much grief I give nostalgia, I guess I am a little sentimental? Either way, I’m a sucker for anything made with synths. That’s why I love Up All Night from Moonbeau.
Even though I opened this article with a paragraph about nostalgia, Moonbeau isn’t exactly a nostalgia act for the reasons you may think. Yes, there are all sorts of those glorious synths and the audio equivalent of skinny stone-washed jeans and large-tongue hightops. But there is nothing in Up All Night that sounds remotely outdated or overly cheesy. There are quite a few tracks that wouldn’t feel out of place on Stranger Things or something, but those tracks are bright and upbeat, placed between tracks of doe-eyed romanticism.
But somewhere between the romance and sugary dance-pop, Moonbeau taps into an indescribable sense of longing. No, I’m not talking about wishing I was a character in an 80s teen comedy (although that would be dope). It’s more like wishing our lives were that simple. A scene where a ballad on the radio convinces the out-of-your-league crush falls madly in love with you. Or an exercise montage could give you the confidence to face your fears like the movie’s antagonist. Up All Night makes you want nostalgia. If that makes sense.
Part of what makes this such a good record is chemistry. Moonbeau is made up of a husband and wife, so where lovey-dovey lyrics would be eye-rolling if sung by anyone else, here I believe it. There are 2 people who legitimately care for each other so all that romanticism is real. And as corny as it may be, it gives me the same vibe as I get when I hear the aforementioned synths!
Up All Night is available on vinyl exclusively through Soul Step Records (who put out Moonbeau’s debut album on vinyl a few years back). In my review of that record, I couldn’t wait to hear what Moonbeau did next. Well, Up All Night defied my expectations and I’m sure the second you drop the needle on this record, you’ll agree.
To purchase Up All Night digitally, please visit Old Flame Records via Bandcamp.
To purchase Up All Night on limited edition vinyl, please visit Soul Step Records.