Immersing oneself in the enchanting tapestries of Moonlight Rhythm Society often feels akin to returning to a familiar and fond place. Not that Franklin Towers necessarily echoes the stylings of sophisticated soul, the suave and calculated allure of jazz-rock, or the syrupy sweetness of mellifluous melodies that often—musical realms that they gracefully traverse with apparent ease.
No, it’s more about how their music envelopes you, cocooning you within its comforting embrace, effortlessly becoming the most natural and inviting place to reside. Shouldn’t all music strive for that ease?
So much of the music that crosses my path appears desperate to make grand statements, striving to be profound or groundbreaking, desperately seeking validation for its perceived coolness or cleverness—although it rarely achieves any of those lofty ambitions. What these folks excel at is simply crafting music for all the right reasons, a concept that appears alarmingly novel in these times of incessant self-promotion and celebrity worship. Their secret lies in this simplicity: create the music that calls to you and revel in the joy of the process.
The result is a creation that’s both deft and delectable, fun and utterly fabulous, and yet, in its own way, unassuming. It doesn’t rely on bombastic flourishes or showy embellishments; it doesn’t clamour for attention or demand to be heard. Instead, it delicately executes a series of tasteful sonic manoeuvres. Guitars weave soulful licks, the bass and backbeat dutifully hold the fort, breezy brass accents saunter through, providing hooks and riffs that liberate the guitar for a couple of cool, contemplative solos, seamlessly integrated into the song’s narrative—no jarring collisions between the solo and the song here, thankfully.
Then there are the vocals—a smooth, jazz-infused serenade backed by a bank of hazy harmonies, delivering lyrics that resonate with depth and deliciousness yet remain so accessible that by the time the second chorus hits, you’ll find yourself singing the words “Over Again” in an endless loop as if it’s an incantation, over and over and over, again and again, and again! And did they slyly slip in the phrase “since Zarathustra’s time”? If so, consider them forever my heroes for achieving the inclusion of a remarkably unexpected and audacious lyric akin to the legendary insertion of “Kilimanjaro” by Toto in their timeless anthem, “Africa.”
“Over Again” stands as a testament to modern soul music—sprinkled with delicate jazz and funk accents—for the contemporary era, yet it adheres to a traditional framework. Its freshness will undoubtedly charm the neo-soul divas of today as well as the traditionalists who hold fast to the timeless standards of the past. Moonlight Rhythm Society emerges as a bridge, connecting the past with the present, a bridge that’s undeniably splendid in its construction.
While some music clamours for attention through its size, cleverness, or sheer volume and impact, Moonlight Rhythm Society, in its signature style, shapes music that’s subtle and refined, wise and worldly, inviting and relatable instead of smug and exclusive. It resonates through melody and harmony rather than bombast. Its impact, though undoubtedly present, emanates through understatement and exquisite execution.