If anyone is looking to bottle-up a little bit of magic, I know a duo you can talk to about it.
Moonlight is the latest release from husband-wife duo, Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano. I have been along on Johnnyswim’s ride for a while now and I don’t plan on hopping off anytime soon. I was introduced to their music right before the release of their debut album (2014?) and I have listened to them on a regular basis ever since. The anticipation for the new album was high and the expectations, if at all possible, were even higher. I mean, I have yet to hear a bad song from Johnnyswim so I was almost certain that I had nothing to worry about.
I just spent the last 41 minutes consuming 12 of the most beautiful songs.
I am a woman of words; I analyze phrases, I allow the stories to wash over me, I listen to every syllable searching for the true meaning and Johnnyswim never disappoints in the songwriting department. They fit complex stories into their songs; they allow moments to breathe, they find new ways to describe familiar feelings, they surprise you with their metaphors and they wrap the words around your heart to the tune of a warm melody. The twelve songs in Moonlight feel like a lifetime worth of stories.
It took me a minute to warm up to “Souvenir”, the sound of it caught me off guard and I kept trying to catch up to the melody. I eventually found its sweet spot and I haven’t stopped playing the song since. The lyrics feel like home, they are a rough reminder of a past relationship but the constant change of melody make the message a little bit easier to swallow. On any given day, you can find me dancing in my chair at work to this song.
Don’t get me wrong
Since you I’ve loved more than I I’ve lost
I find on rainy days memories I’ve stowed away
Of you and the thought still thrills me
Hope you kept a piece of me
Display it on your mantelpiece
When time forgets and dust collects
At least you still get to hold me
Abner truly shines in “Marietta”, his vocals sound determined while the music sounds like a theatrical anthem. Amanda is heartbreaking in “Flowers” and no matter how many times I listen to the song, the following lyrics always twist my heart: “Cause tryna say it’s over while I’m layin’ in your bed/ Is like letting go with honey on my hands”.
I tend to never do this, but I may have already picked my favorite song. This, like “Souvenir”, caught me absolutely off-guard and it’s a true testament to Johnnyswim; that even after all these years they can still surprise me with their sound.
The strumming of the guitar reminds me of the old-school romantic Spanish songs my dad listens to, but the way it seamlessly transitions into the electric and haunting sound in the chorus makes this song absolutely magical. The title track, “Moonlight”, feels perfect. I say this as I just handed one of my headphones to my roommate and demanded that she listen to it.
Quick note: I am currently accepting auditions for a person who will passionately sing “Moonlight” to me. Feel free to send this to Jake Gyllenhaal.
Say its real
Wont you tell me
You’ll be here
Long after the moonlight is gone
Say you feel
Ruined for love since you met me
This album is the embodiment of LOVE; it allows the love to live in the frustrations, it gives it permission to fight it out, to walk away and to find the way back. Moonlight exists in the complicated but it finds the perfect and easiest route directly into your heart. Abner and Amanda are the perfect vessel for these 12 songs and Moonlight is a wonderful testament to the life that they’ve built together.
You can catch me playing the album over and over and over again until the words embed themselves in my soul.