Sounds Like: A cinematic melange of Eighties New Wave, quiet storm and goth-pop.
For Fans of: The XX, Broken Bells, Beach House
Why You Should Pay Attention: A little over a year ago, Los Angeles trio Lo Moon posted a seven-minute slice of dream pop, "Loveless," to the internet. It found the ears of Pharrell Williams and ex-Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, and the song is closing in on a million YouTube streams. Frontman Matt Lowell, a Berklee grad, wrote the falsetto-filled number about five years ago while trying out different genres in New York as a singer-songwriter. "It's the first song I felt really excited about," he says. Lo Moon have since released two more tracks, "Thorns" and "This Is It," the latter is a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Triple A chart. For their forthcoming debut, Lowell, bassist/keyboardist Crisanta Baker and guitarist Sam Stewart split time recording in L.A. and Seattle, working closely with Walla and Francois Tetaz (Gotye). "This album is so much about the arc of relationships and the different phases," Lowell says of the undeniably moody results. "We all got through it together."
They Say: "There's a huge difference between being in school working on music and being in a band touring," says Lowell, who will be opening dates on Phoenix's North American tour with Lo Moon. "You can't really learn that. You have to make the mistakes, write a bunch of terrible songs, and just go out and play them – which is what I did right after I left Berklee. At school, it was great being around musicians all the time. Great, and the worst thing ever. You're constantly comparing yourself. Berklee's filled with incredible musicians. I found a little crew there that had what I thought was really good music taste and opened my ears to a lot of stuff. It's different at a music school because people are searching all the time."
Hear for Yourself: The emotional synth-rock of "This Is It" delivers drama like peak Peter Gabriel. Reed Fischer