Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Eli Moon's Bodies marks a pivotal moment in British R&B


Release date: 18 October 2019
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24 October 2019, 10:34 Written by Udit Mahalingam
R&B’s place within the U.K. has often been debated and contested.

The increasing lack of relevant British rhythm-and-blues singers, especially when considered against the recent popularity of its rap artists (see Stormzy, Dave, Burna Boy, etc...) reveals a genre that has increasingly been subsumed by the ever-growing tides of hip-hop, despite its fundamental inextricability from the musical world.

Nevertheless, it would be unwise to correlate mainstream success with a lack of artistic or musical development. Such a rule holds true for up-and-coming singer Eli Moon, whose latest record is testament to an ethos of innovation. Bodies is a nocturnal, sonically progressive mood-piece grounded in emotional nuance and and set against a backdrop of late-night club-haze.

Freedom and romance are the thematic backbones of this record; Moon’s intent is clear on the opening track “Free” (“Just for tonight / Won’t you let me be free?”), a genre-bending deluge of electronica and soft-rock. With this message in mind, the singer liberates his psyche, seeking affirmation in the strength of the self on tracks such as the pulsating “Bury” (“Bury all the bodies. / All of the bodies.”) and the electrifying “Feelin Right” (“She sits on my shoulder / Tellin me I’ll be fine.”), a track that feels like the centre-piece of the record.

It would be presumptuous to suggest that there aren’t any missteps on this album. Moon’s commitment to atmosphere over vocal theatrics sometimes cause his lyrics to bleed into incomprehensibility (see “Ingoltstadt”). However such missteps could potentially be traced back to the singer’s commitment to experimentation. And as a whole, Bodies feels like a step in a new and liberating direction, a direction where the tropes of British R&B are stripped back, re-calibrated and funnelled through the aesthetics of individual experience.

Eli Moon's Bodies is out now. Listen here.

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