On launch day of Lippy's A/W '21 print, The Lunar Issue, we've collated a list of music which truly epitomises the theme. Take a scroll, and enjoy.
Arguably, London collective SAULT epitomise almost everything the Lunar issue is about - beauty, enchantment, conceptual cyclicality, and a healthy dose of social activism. Bridging the spaces between neo-soul, R&B, pop-funk and electronica, their sound is as obscure as their identities. Shrouded in secrecy in concept and in art, SAULT’s music is mystifying - but equally, powerfully lucid. Telling stories of hope and hopelessness, love and hate, protest and acquiescence, fearfulness and fearlessness, and interlaced unabashedly with political statements on the world’s injustices, their songs frequently portray an incessant fight for equality and peace.
True to their reputation for cryptic behaviour, their most recent release Nine was only available on Spotify for ninety-nine days, and is now unfortunately only accessible on Youtube, but it is well worth a listen. Bitter Streets is a particularly notable number from this album. A depiction of perpetual hope and joy in the face of disillusionment and lost-innocent from the perspective of a black person facing the brutality of the streets, this track embodies a light-in-the-darkness kind of optimism, which alongside its late-night imagery, gives big time Lunar energy. This is enhanced by the dreamy melody, repetitive lyrics and entrancing backing vocals, which work together to create a celestial sound.
Although Bitter Streets is not available on Spotify, I recommend heading over to the Lunar Spotify playlist and giving another favourite of mine Red Lights, a track from SAULT’s 2019 playlist “7”, a listen. The latter, like the former, presents a similarly airy, dream-like depiction of eternal optimism and determination in the face of hardship, and gives a great sense of both the incredible beauty of SAULT’s music and the essence of what Lunar is about.
Words by Cosima Worth
Walking Flames / Actress, Sampha
A new day is an opportunity, a clean slate to refresh. Much like the cyclical nature of the lunar cycle, the birth of a new day provides one with twenty four hours of chances. Twenty four hours to, if one desires, change anything they wish about any intricate detail of their lives.
The gentle repetition of the opening line - 'Don't breathe the birth of a new day' - throughout the song is a calming reminder to the listener of the potential of a new day. Delicate background tones allow immersion of the self within the message to be portrayed in the most calming of ways: with lyrics drifting in and out of one’s psyche.
Walking Flames embodies Lunar for this very reason. The emphasis on rebirth, opportunity and newness mirrors the cyclical nature of Lunar and its connotations - and provides a soothing backdrop in doing so.
Words by Niamh Ingram
Archangel / Burial
Google’s definition of the term ‘archangel’ is ‘an angel of greater than ordinary rank’. It’s in this that the track, taken from Burial’s now seminal 2007 album Untrue, lends itself to the supernatural spirit world of our Lunar issue. Existing in an eerie, liminal space between deep ambient and UKG, it’s an ode to life after hours in the UK. I remember first hearing it played out by DJ Seinfeld at Wire back in 2019 and the energy in the room instantly transcending into the place of spiritual collectivity that Lunar is all about. It echoes on, sampling and distorting vocals from Ray J’s old school rnb ballad One Wish to uncannily turn pop culture on its head, blending the real and unreal into haunting bliss. At once wistful and impassioned, it’s something I return to both for the dancefloor and the feeling of the hazy walk home.
Words by Alice Browne
Selected Rotational Bangers
With the moon at the heart of the lunar image, it’s cyclic rotation around our earth is constant as are the ways of music. As each year passes and the music genre bountifully continues to grow, our most famously valued musical classics will, like our moon, never fail to show up again and again and again. Since we are celebrating our cosmic universe with Lunar this semester, it seems only fitting to remember those classics which we attribute to the nighttime scene. From Toploader’s ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly me to the Moon’ it seems musicians can’t help but celebrate and recognise humanity’s love for the nighttime. Fleetwoodmac’s ‘Dreams’ symbolises the broad capabilities of Lunar as it transcends beyond physicality to our sleep. Each of these iconic songs continue to stand the test of time and, such as with our theme, will go on to be recognised and praised as they reoccur throughout history and on into the future.
Words by Lizzie Harley
Moon Song / Phoebe Bridgers
Moon Song is possibly one of the saddest listens on Punisher. It is stripped back, with lofi drums, guitar and a subtle synth soundscape, making way for the heart wrenching lyrics and angelic backing vocals. From my interpretation the song tells perfectly of how it feels to love someone who will not let you love them. The lyrics show aching desperation, including 'if i could give you the moon, i would give you the moon’. This simple analogy sums up just how much she would do for the person, however, she states ‘but you're holding me like water in your hands’. This imagery of her literally slipping through their fingers is a powerful metaphor for the impending possibility of being let go at any moment. As seen across her work, the vocals portray yearning emotion which is enhanced by her quiet and haunting delivery. Phoebe nails transforming the pain of failed love into this ballad, even if you have not experienced such emotions, it feels like you can get pretty close listening to moon song.
Words by Lucy Clark