Pressing “Restart” on the Walk the Moon You Once Knew
- By Mica Kendall -
Earning worldwide attention for their break out hits such as “Anna Sun” and “Shut up and Dance,”
found within their debut albums, Walk the Moon has earned an increasingly alarming amount of success over the years through sold out headline shows to major music festivals across the country.
However, since their promotion tour for Talking is Hard, the band went on a temporary three year hiatus, that has proven itself to be effectively worth the wait with their new album What if Nothing. Not only has Walk the Moon curated a completely new sense of sound on this 13-tracked album, but lead singer Nick Petricca lyrically pours his heart out into this album. He does this by focusing on his personal growth throughout his various life experiences. This encompasses love, heartbreak, and the ability to move on and grow as a person.
If you feel skeptical towards thinking “How could Walk the Moon possibly change their definitive infectious sound?” then the first track off of What If Nothing will undoubtedly clear your suspicions with “Press Restart.” “Press Restart” is literally like the name of the song showcasing how Walk the Moon is actually restarting their entire sense of sound with this powerful steady beat track focused on pushing past one’s former self and focusing on personal development in the present. Petricca emphasizes how he is letting go of “the last chapter in the story of my old self” filled with heartbreak and serious challenges to the built up climax in the song with refusing to be just a “lab rat” to breaking through with “I am the experiment/ I am the mad scientist/Invent my way out of this.” “Press Restart” shatters musical boundaries for the band showing how What if Nothing is not messing around when it comes to bringing fans a new and improved version of Walk the Moon.
Moving on through the heavily enriched 13-tracked album
filled with a majority of upbeat tracks which Walk the Moon tend to sonically specialize in, upbeat tracks like “Headphones,” “One Foot,” “Kamikaze,” and “Feels good to be High” seem to retain the familiarity known in older songs such as “Up 2 U,” “Work this body,” “Quesadilla,” with the effect of making one want to dance along to the smooth guitar riffs accompanied by the fast paced synthesized instrumentals. In addition, a personal stand out upbeat track on the album correlating to the total new sense of sound prevalent in “Press Restart” can be found in track 9 “Sound of Awakening.” “Sound of Awakening” noticeably concentrates on an autotune distortion effect as Petricca narrates the start of a new beginning in life with “the sense that everything is about to change.” What differentiates this track from the rest is its psychedelic effect accompanied by a memorizing steady beat that gives off a foreboding sense that Petricca has had a pivotal personal revelation in his past relationship by realizing “the distance between us is just an illusion.”
Though this album isn't heavily concentrated on slow songs, tracks like “Surrender” and “Tiger Teeth” provide a break in the middle of the album from the up tempo tracks. “Surrender” serves as my personal favorite and the most distinctive track on the album. “Surrender” gives a glimpse into the sense of intimacy and heartache behind Petricca’s songwriting - focusing on the struggles faced while trying to break out of the comfort zone found in the familiarity of a past relationship and surrender by accepting what life has to offer in the present.
Although What if Nothing contains a sense of pain with the emotions
that come with a broken heart and the personal difficulties that comes with leaving the past behind, the overall tone of the album portrays a sense of optimistic progression with Petricca accepting personal control on dictating his future by acknowledging the present. Walk the Moon admirably took a musical risk in changing up their style in a new refreshing way that makes What If Nothing so unique and distinguishable amidst their other two highly acclaimed albums. If this review hasn’t captured your interest in the album enough, Walk the Moon has already announced a winter tour promoting their new album and definitely will be worth attending to hear their new awakening sound live.