With SXSW around the corner, everyone and their Siri will be searching for the next big buzz band. One potential candidate, however, is staying home in Cape Town, South Africa, and watching things unfold from a distance. They are Honeymoan, who have been riding a tidal wave of buzz since the turn of the calendar year with Earmilk, Clash, and other notable music sites praising the quartet’s wide-ranging indie-pop-rock approach. With excitement comes expectations, as the band is the southern hemisphere’s equivalent of Black Honey, Anteros, and Wolf Alice. Their artistry is fully displayed on their new EP, Weirdo.
Spanning at just four songs, Weirdo is just a sample of Honeymoan’s potential. The record is clever, entertaining, engaging, and diverse, as no two songs are alike musically nor lyrically (the latter, in particular, is a refreshing outcome). The record opens with the rousing anthem, “Still Here”. Blustery synths, bouncing rhythms, and humming, overdriven guitars create a Phoenix-like, bursting atmosphere, which envelops front-woman Alison Rachel’s effect-laden vocals. Despite the energetic approach, Rachel opens up about dealing with anxiety and depression.
“Living in a question mark / Time is stumbling in the dark
Waiting to complete the arc / This story blows who’s the writer
More than just to sleep and eat / Again, again repeat, repeat
What happened to a short and sweet / This one seems will never end”
Disco, indie rock, and alt-pop converge on the sultry, Connan Mockasin-esque “Fidelio”. Through the slow groove, Rachel spins a tale of a chance encounter that doesn’t end as expected. Her words are a warning that physical attraction can lead to unintended consequences. The band takes a less serious tone on the light, airy, and sensual electro-pop number “Weirdo”. Through calculated beats and titillating guitars riffs, Rachel shares her thoughts of spotting the one, who is already with another. Even though she dances “like a weirdo”, she cannot stop looking at her and can only imagine the possibilities that await.
The EP ends the same way it started – with a head-nodding, slow-building number in “Too Much”. Commencing first as a crunchy pop tune, the track grows into a grizzled indie-rock tune. The progression mirrors Rachel’s lyrics of feeling disconnected from the rest of the world, who are under a perpetual state of control. Who are brainwashed by the system, but she is one of the few that can see clearly. But is she too outspoken and “saying too much”? Hopefully not because Honeymoan has the chance to be South Africa’s biggest indie export, and Weirdo only whets our appetite to hear more.
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