Thursday, May 23, 2019
Sunday, May 19, 2019
“Life, to me, is valleys and peaks.” It’s a simple refrain, but one borne of profound consequence and infinitely relatable. Jeremy Burchard and Jennica Scott (the duo comprising Moonlight Social) have seen their fair share of ups and downs since 2010, when they first began crafting songs in Burchard’s tiny garage apartment in Austin, Texas.
After relocating to Nashville in 2016, the band “incubated,” as they put it, for nearly two years before releasing their 2018 EP Make You Smile— undoubtedly a high moment in their budding career after debuting on the Billboard charts for the first time and amassing more than one million independent streams of their music (a notable growth from the 30,000 or so that preceded the EP).
But it was, as life goes, peppered with the debilitating troughs, both personal and professional, that always seems to pull you back down to earth. Ultimately, it was somewhere there on the ground that Burchard and Scott found perhaps the most important song of their young career.
“I was dealing with a bout of depression and I just felt defeated,” Burchard says. Lying on the couch, feeling feckless under the weight of chemical indifference, he resolved to shovel his way out of that emotional hole one word at a time.
“I knew in my heart of hearts I didn’t believe those thoughts I was having — so I inverted them and slowly began building a chorus like a mantra that I do believe in,” he says. “I wanted to remind myself that it’s ok to feel the way I felt — that life is not a linear curve, or a ‘hockey stick’ — that embracing the lows is as important as celebrating the highs.”
And that’s how “Valleys and Peaks” began. But as Burchard emerged feeling stronger and more resolute, the song temporarily sat on the shelf. The exercise had, at the time, served its purpose. Until not long ago, when the duo had to say goodbye to their beloved beagle, Jodi.
“She was a huge part of our lives,” Scott says. “It’s something you know is in the future, but you still can’t prepare for.” The animal lovers among us can relate.
One quiet evening not long after Jodi passed, Burchard brought out the guitar and began plucking the song. “I felt like I never wanted to love anything again because it hurt so much,” he says.
Sitting at the kitchen table, the duo again took that raw emotion and turned it on its head, formulating a bridge that serves both as a personal tribute and a resounding bow tying the song together. “The song just poured out of us,” Scott says.
They knew this was a message they needed to hear, to sing, to believe in, and to share, constantly.
Burchard got to work in their home studio, producing, recording, and mixing the song in its entirety as Scott layered in her luscious harmonies along the way. The duo then filmed a music video for the song, with Burchard once again producing and editing the project.
For Moonlight Social, “Valleys and Peaks” is many things. It’s an open letter about mental health. It’s a reminder. It’s a rallying cry. It’s a tribute to loved ones. Most importantly, it’s their promise to always be honest in their music — not just to their fans and to each other, but to themselves.