Stumbling into existence in 2008, rising to notability in 2011, and becoming an indie pop powerhouse in 2015, WALK THE MOON has certainly seen their share of entropy. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, the band was formed by lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca and some colleagues from Kenyon College in ’08, but its current, and so far permanent, lineup of Kevin Ray on bass, Sean Waugaman on drums, and Eli Maiman on guitar coalesced in 2010.
Famous for paint-covered fans and beats dripped in 80s synth, you can never go wrong playing WTM at a party. Their popular dance floor anthems “Shut Up and Dance” and “Anna Sun” are just an introduction to the complex interplay of instruments and surprisingly soulful lyrics that comprise both their self-titled début and sophomore success. Other dance floor highlights: “Tightrope,” “Fixin’,” “Jenny,” and “Work This Body.”
In addition to moving your hips, WTM are particularly skillful at creating memorable lyrics that speak to a deeper human connection; they’re masters at writing songs that give us complex and seemingly real romantic relationships. Consider “Next In Line” that pleads for a lover to “push it honey to the up and right [and] stay shotgun until the day I die,” or the surprising intimacy of “Shiver Shiver”: “You leave these marks up on my neck / And it’s still there… I know but I still check / Thump, thump, the thumping in my chest / As I lose the feeling in my fingertips.” “Lisa Baby,” “Sidekick,” “Avalanche,” “Portugal,” and “Come Under The Covers” are sure to spark listeners’ memories of past flames.
The band’s tight focus on the intimacy between people does not mean they shy away from social commentary—WTM have a lot to say about the world we live in and our role in that world. “Different Colors” reminds us that we’re just “different colors” that “carry each other” while “Up 2 U” acknowledges that “It’s hard enough just making money / It’s hard enough just trying to feel alive / Meanwhile our fever is running / And kings bow down to the dollar sign.” Check out “I Can Lift A Car,” “Spend Your $$$,” and “We Are The Kids” for more on that.
For our complete take on WTM, listen to this recording of March 5th’s Artist Replay. You can catch AR on every Saturday from 6-8pm PST.