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Smooth Bananas: MoonLander drops EP ‘Crash20’ for July R&B listeners

Rising alternative R&B artist MoonLander released an EP entitled “Crash20” in July, but did the 3-song EP crash and burn or did it crush the charts? 

The EP, while only released for a couple months, is taking off with his dedicated fans and fans of his associated acts but not so much with those outside his sphere of influence. That’s honestly a shame because he seems like a strong up-and-coming artist. However, the EP is not as strong as it could be. 

MoonLander, also known as Dillon Houston Church, is originally from Concord, N.C. and has been working on music since the age of 14. According to First Avenue, his music has been streamed more than 100,000 times. However, this in the grand scheme of music in the digital age is not a huge splash. He should be commended for the effort though. 

The EP suffers from what I like to call startup sickness. Beginnings are hard, after all. Each of the three tracks starts off with one groove and then quickly transitions to another more commercially viable aesthetic. This tells that MoonLander has ideas, just not a lot of confidence in every single one. That’s okay for a young artist but it’s certainly something to work through as he gets older. His style is only going to develop from here. 

We open with “Ring Around the Rosé” that opens with an intimate toy piano intro but as mentioned, quickly brings in the bass and drums to give it that R&B, modern rap aesthetic. This track is probably the strongest musically but that’s not actually saying much. The opening track also introduces MoonLander’s particular use of autotune while singing. Something about the balance of the filters on the effect is quite jarring but after some listening, the negative aspects seem to disappear and bring an enjoyable listening experience. This is also the only track that provides a little timbral difference during the interlude between verses, bringing in some more pad sounds to smooth out the sound. 

The second track “Swish” is probably the least satisfying of the three. The narrator of the song is talking about messing around in the bathtub, but the chorus talks about the metaphorical “shooting your shot” and missing. To any thinking person, it would seem that the shot has already been shot and the shot was not missed but I digress. On top of that cognitive dissonance, the middle track is generally boring musically. Easily forgettable. A song that would easily get lost on a playlist of other R&B artists and rappers. 

“Old News,” the final track, starts out the most interesting but quickly transitions to his normal style again. MoonLander’s “singing” doesn’t really have much of a clear direction on this track, neither do his lyric choices. There’s a lot of potential in this one for growth over time but right now, he’s just not it. 

MoonLander is certainly an act to watch and many big-name artists agree. Artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Machine Gun Kelly, and Juice WRLD. However, this EP does leave a little too much to be desired. It’s not bad per se, but it’s certainly got room for improvement. “Crash20” receives a C-plus rating.  

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