Jennica Scott and Jeremy Burchard are the two halves that make up Moonlight Social, a pop country duo born in Texas, now based in Nashville. Their EP Make You Smile features five uptempo songs they’ll release April 13. I was lucky to score an early copy (thanks!) and enjoyed listening to it several times over the past few days. They invite you to sample the title song here:
My first reaction hearing Moonlight Social (cool name I think) is that Scott and Burchard should set their sights toward landing an opening slot for a big country pop act. Although I’ve not seen them play live, Moonlight Social’s music is undeniably upbeat, with just the right frenetic energy to whip up an arena crowd. They confirmed in an email earlier this week a dream gig would be to open for bands like Little Big Town or Sugarland. “We could learn so much from being on the road with folks like that,” they wrote.
But that might be down the road. At this point, they are concentrating on, “being the best, truest version of ourselves and our own sound.”
Vocally, Burchard’s baritone is a good base for Scott who at times sounds quite a bit like Jennifer Nettles. Of the five songs, my favorite vocals came when they sang together, as on 90s-flavored My Everything (co-written with the great Byron Hill). Their harmonies are impressive.
The songs are catchy and they write their own material. Check out the get-in-your-head Bad Side (which they wrote with Nashville songwriter Jenn Bostic) in this nicely-produced lyric video:
I suspect the musical part of that spirited sound, full of driving beats and get-up-and-go rhythms, could stem from their mutual experience as members of the University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band. Scott and Burchard met in 2010 as college students. She played the trumpet and he was a part of the drum line. They moved to Nashville in 2016 after a few years based in Austin. They say the experience formed their ability to work together, as much as their musical style.
“You can definitely hear how the energy of marching band influenced our own sound and production,” they wrote. “But you’re out there playing with 380 other people, and everybody needs to be in lock step, not just musically, but physically. It really teaches you about being part of a bigger picture and learning dynamics and teamwork.”
That teamwork has led them to landing enviable gigs at Austin’s SXSW, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and a host of other shows in 14 states. They’ll be touring back in Texas this summer, as well as playing dates in Atlanta and Chicago. In Nashville, they often play at writers’ rounds at venues like Belcourt Taps (one of my favorites), Commodore Grille, and Millennium Maxwell House.
On April 12 Moonlight Social will stage a free show to promote Make You Smile. Their friends Rachel Price and Myylo will be there to support. Check it out if you happen to be in Nashville at H.O.M.E., 615 Main, and be sure to RSVP. Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/moonlight-social-ep-release-show-tickets-44241214664 or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2060611887519322/
PHOTO AT TOP TAKEN BY DAVID ABBOTT AND SUPPLIED BY MOONLIGHT SOCIAL.
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