Great literature and great music give ideas like depression and tragedy a chance to shine with surprising beauty. The beauty emerges from the commonality of the experience itself (“breath it in / breath it out / so familiar now”). With depression, something so isolating and at times numbing (“Up at night / feeling dumb / am I all alone?”), some music can tap into that loneliness, and through listening to a person’s intimate battle with it, a community is formed. In such a way emerges The Moth & The Flame’s new single “The New Great Depression,” a single from the upcoming full length Ruthless.
This LA band (originally from Provo, UT) are following up their critically acclaimed debut Young & Afraid. In the first single, the purpose is to contribute their voices to bringing attention to how common anxiety and depression are today. Yet, they acknowledge that depression isn’t always and everything on the new album: “There are some really dark and uncomfortable moments contrasted with breakthroughs of clarity, beauty and hope.” With this song, they have bridged that gap creating a startlingly beautiful song.
The sound is mix of moody indie and some R&B with a rock sensibility. It dances on this line of intense intimacy in theme yet universality in tone. It haunts you a bit and is likely to stick with you after a couple listens.
It partly comes together so well because of the production. Lead singer Brandon Robbins voice is so clear that you hear pained crackles as he sings his version of the battle with depression. The arrangement of the drums, synth, and, at the end, strings are arranged so carefully and add a fullness to the sound that would make the tender music shake the walls of a concert venue or make the goose bumps rise on your arms. Produced by Peter Katis (a grammy winner), you can hear the talent in the production. It doesn’t overshadow the music though, simply making the song more memorable and powerful– as production should.
The Moth & The Flame will be releasing their new album on February 1st. This first single is a call to old fans and potential new ones letting them know that there’s a great new album on the horizon.