Every year, UK-based department store John Lewis releases a highly-anticipated Christmas commercial that intends (and succeeds) to pull at the nation’s collective heartstrings. Five years ago it featured the tragic tale of a lonely man on the moon who was all alone for Christmas (I mean seriously, who are the emotionally-manipulating masterminds behind these commercials?). It got the Tonemamas thinking about this fictional Man on the Moon. What was his backstory? Who was he when he was younger? Did he ever fall desperately and destructively in love? Did he dream of intergalactic backpacking or a (literal) five-star cruise?
Today’s featured artist Kevin Atwater describes the intriguing character of a “Moonlight Boy”, perhaps shedding some (moon)light on our existential questions.
“Moonlight Boy” is a minimalistic production with acoustic guitar vocals right at the center. Atwater’s songwriting skills and arrangement instincts are of superb quality. And the singing! He sings his evocative lyrics with a breathy and flexible tone – the vocal performance is filled with an unusual mix of intriguing emotions. It’s not melodramatic, it’s layered – as if he’s trying to conceal how much he cares, something that makes the performance even more convincing. He takes the listener on a journey filled with unexpected turns, yet all in a familiar landscape – ‘tis the balance darlin’!
Also, as we’re praising this up-and-coming-soon-to-be superstar, we mustn’t forget to mention those vocal harmony arrangements! Again Kevin’s timing is impeccable, a tiny sea of beautiful voices (his voice multiplied we assume) enters at the perfect time filling our harmony-craving souls with so much joy.
Kevin Atwater and the fictional Moonlight Boy will have you swapping in your boring earth-bound plane tickets for an intergalactic itinerary instead…and when you get to the Moon, The Tonemamas will be the ones happily building moon-dust angels (or whatever moon people do up there…)
Listen for: 1:15, he introduces a synth and some more vocal harmonies that really lift the song to a new level that no one thought was possible!
Best listened to when: Picking flowers barefooted in the forest at full moon. (Can also be enjoyed while commuting to and fro’ work).
Follow Kevin here