December 9, 2021
Photo: Lindsey Miller
Charlotte indie pop-rock quartet Modern Moxie is finishing the year out strong with their latest single, “Weeping Willow.” The whimsical track laments the loss of a child-like sense of adventure and connection to nature as we age into the real world of the mundane. The track is the second single ahead of the band’s upcoming EP, Gutter Honey, slated for release in March of 2022.
The first single, “Big Wave,” released in late October, served as an inflamed, pointed declaration of defiance and outrage toward the American political climate at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s wrapped up in a sleek groove befitting Modern Moxie’s nuanced style.
“Weeping Willow” steps away from the vitriol and into a vulnerable, personal longing. The single starts with an ominous, lurking bass line that sets the staccato rhythm of the song firmly in place. Contrasted by the soft, dreamy bloom of the lead guitar immediately following the intro, the juxtaposition is palpable, like diving into a colorful past while surrounded by a monochromatic present.
Madison Lucas’ voice at the beginning of the song is wistful and almost bitter, but quickly transforms into a melody with the chorus. She oscillates between these two phases as she draws out each carefully articulated word of her love letter to a lost youth, crossing the finish line with a powerful falsetto and the lyrical white flag, “No, I can’t keep up this.”
But the heartbreak in Lucas’ voice isn’t reserved solely for her own warm memories of time spent climbing trees as a kid; Lucas’ younger brother Jeffrey was diagnosed with MS at age 23. “Weeping Willow” was written during a traumatic period when Jeffrey was admitted to the hospital after a flare-up, resulting from an experimental treatment he underwent.
The sadness of “Weeping Willow,” combined with the fury of “Big Wave,” sets the stage for Modern Moxie’s forthcoming EP, Gutter Honey. The album is an emotional lexicon that, according to Lucas, channels the themes of “preserving nature, waking up and finding your true self, and fighting for what you believe in.” This project will be the first full release from Modern Moxie since their breakout 2019 LP, Claw Your Way Out, a ten-track record that came together over the course of ten years. Written over the course of two years, Gutter Honey will have a “softer, more intricate vibe” than their previous work, with a story to tell.
Given Lucas’ penchant for the narrative-based, first-person storytelling in Modern Moxie’s music, we can expect Gutter Honey to be a deeply personal look into Lucas’ memories and experiences, as well as the group’s growing frustrations with the current political and environmental state of affairs.
Listen to “Weeping Willow” by Modern Moxie, from the forthcoming EP, Gutter Honey, scheduled to be released in March of 2022. You can also catch Modern Moxie at the Baran Dance presents: Two x Five Afterparty at Petra’s on Friday, December 10.