Moonlight Social

Tell us your history.

Jeremy Burchard and Jennica Scott first met as members of The University of Texas Longhorn Band back in 2009 — Jeremy as a member of the drumline, and Jennica as a trumpet player. While in school, they got together and began writing music that mashed up all of their influences. Before long, they were recording songs and demos in Jeremy’s bedroom. That eventually led to recording their debut album ‘Heading South’ with producer and Blue October bassist Matt Noveksey. The band toured all over Texas and more than a dozen other states, earning critical acclaim along the way. In 2015, they started traveling to Nashville for co-writes and meetings. They released the single “Rub A Little Dirt On It” in late 2015, which won the SongDoor International Songwriting Competition’s country category. In June 2016, they relocated to Nashville and began working on their upcoming ‘Make You Smile’ EP, which comes out April 13th, 2018.

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Describe yourself as an artist.

We’re 90s kids and a hodgepodge of boundless influences. We believe music is increasingly borderless and genre-less and we want to write and produce compelling songs that come from an honest place. We’re also totally down to make your booty shake and/or switch it up on a moment’s notice. But you’ll always find lots of harmonies, personality, and energy. And if you must grab for some artists comparisons, we like to say, “Moonlight Social sounds like Sugarland hanging out with The Civil Wars at a game night where the playlist is mostly 90s jams and nobody is allowed to suggest playing Monopoly.”

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Tell us your genre of music.

We’re told there are only two genres of music: good and bad. We strive to be the former. We’re also very fond of calling this tune “Steampunk Country.”

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Tell us the story behind your song.

We wrote “Bad Side” on one of our trips up to Nashville with a fellow artist named Jenn Bostic. Jeremy had this chord progression and they wanted to play off that classic bank robber narrative as a metaphor for falling in love with a personality you really shouldn’t. It’s a little tragic and very self-aware. It’s also not trying to make the relationship something it isn’t, which is a theme we really resonate with. It blends some of that classic country storytelling with a bit of a pop punk bravado.

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Tell us the problems you are facing as a musician.

Great question. A lot of it is just finding enough hours in the day to support ourselves and our art and craft. Breaking through the noise is tough. And as soon as you show a little promise, you get a lot of people telling you who or what to be. And then at the same time you’re in this constant state of comparing yourself to others, when you really can’t do that. There are so many moving parts to the industry and so many things independent artists need to be good at. But innovation tends to come from desperation. You have to believe that hard work, hustle, and actually giving a shit will help you eventually take bigger and bigger strides.

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Discuss the recording and production of the song.

Jeremy co-produced this with a great engineer and producer in town named Derek Garten. We met a few months after moving to town and hit it off when he didn’t try to tell us who to be, but instead let us talk about all the things we loved in music. We brought in some friends who play with some fairly well established mainstream country acts and they helped us make good use of our time in the studio. We tracked it all live and then did some guitar and production overdubs. We call it “Steampunk Country” because we wanted to include these machinations, layers, and production elements that captured a bit of this metallic, Victorian thing, but it’s still very much country narrative. And then on the other hand, it’s not a traditional country song structure and it’s got this cool straight up punk beat driving the chorus. This one is a great overall microcosm of our sound which is, essentially, anything goes as long as it’s tasteful and suits the song.

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List the names of blogs, radio or television stations that have supported you so far.

Throughout our history, that’s quite a bit. But more recently, MusicRow magazine, Texas Music magazine, The Huffington Post, Nashville Gab, quite a few other blogs, some Texas radio, internet radio etc. CMT featured our last music video for “Rub A Little Dirt On It.” And of course a lot of local stations down in Texas. We’re new to Tennessee (relatively), so it’s a bit of a rebuilding process up here.

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Elaborate on your music career, experience, and future goals.

For starters, our future goals are to build up a sustainable company that lets us release the music we want to release and maintain strong relationships with fans into our golden years. We’d love to play arenas, but we’re just as happy playing rooms of a few hundred people who really, truly connect with what we’re doing. We just want to share our truths and connect with people who share the same truths as us.

 

Jeremy is a music journalist for Wide Open Country and has a startup music company with his brother called RootNote. He also is extremely musically curious and tries to play any instrument he can get his hands on (key word: tries). Jennica came from a musical family and first cut her teeth in the Texas VAs singing karaoke. After officially forming Moonlight Social in early 2011, we’ve played hundreds of shows across more than a dozen states, ran crowdfunding platforms, made money, lost money, bought a van, watched the van break down, get a different van, play on festival stages to thousands of people, played to bartenders, gotten swindled out of money, been paid entirely too much for private gigs, and just about everything in between.

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Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

All this money we make, obviously.

 

(A joke).

 

It’s pretty simple. We have to. We’re fundamentally unhappy people without writing, composing, and singing. Because that’s our outlet and our escape and at some point in our lives, somebody reached out and touched us with a song in a way we’ve never felt before and we said, “Man, we want to do THAT for people.”

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Brief us the top secret behind making a hit song.

A feature from Pitbull. Or if you want something that might actually be useful (assuming we all know there’s no secret), we could go with “re-writing.”

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Tell the advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Be your own biggest fan. If you don’t love what you do, why should anybody else?

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Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have received.

Debut EP in 2011, debut album Heading South in 2012, single in 2015, and now this new EP in 2018. We earned a lot of local love in Austin and won several local competitions in our early days.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
There’s no one specific way. Jeremy writes with a guitar usually. We’ll usually write together or bring a snippet in first and kind of finish it or polish it up. Sometimes we have titles or guiding principles, and sometimes it’s just a line or idea we can’t get out of our heads. We do co-writes with a third party a lot as well. Then Jeremy will usually go in and do a demo of the song so we can have to listen later and determine if we want to take it into a professional studio environment or not. We also release acoustic versions of our stuff commercially from time to time, and those are recorded in our house.

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Name your favourite artists for collaboration.

Artists with experiences and perspectives that differ from ours.

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State the links to your social networks and stores.

 

Website

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Instagram

 

YouTube

 

Spotify

 

itunes

 

Amazon

 

Store

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Share your press release and reviews with us.
Most reviews are still forthcoming since the EP hasn’t come out yet. The Huffington Post had a great single review of “Make You Smile” though.

LINK

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Get a nice reasonable celebratory lunch, then put the rest into an interest-earning account and only take out small amounts when we need it for tour support, recording time, etc. Not sexy, but oh so necessary.

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Discuss music promotion and how you are boosting your fan base.
Facebook ads help when you’re doing ads behind content you believe in. There are also some services we use that encourage people to sign up for your social channels to win awards etc. We’re also doing a better job at building our email list, reaching out to people on streaming services and playing live shows etc. The biggest thing is just always remembering it’s about the fan, it’s not about us. Every interaction should be “how does what we do add value to your day?”

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
Poorly, honestly. Not a lot of sleep. The wheels are always turning. It’s pretty much 24/7.

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State the official date of release.
The ‘Make You Smile’ EP comes out April 13th, 2018.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
Moonlight Social is a name we came up with to symbolize how we wanted our music to feel. It’s a word for those late nights when you’re with somebody you really trust and you’re just lying in the dark having the most honest conversations of your life. Sometimes laughing at nothing. Sometimes getting really deep or personal. We came up with a name for those moments — moonlight socials. We want our music to be guided by that level of vulnerability and honesty.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.
Wish there were something more exciting to the song name for “Bad Side,” but it just kind of felt like the obvious choice given the context of the song.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

The EP is called ‘Make You Smile’ based off the title track, but it’s also a bit of an interesting concept. It’s both playful but also kind of a strange juxtaposition of a forceful action (“make”) with a usually involuntary reaction (“smile”). Ultimately, we want our music to evoke an emotional response, and it doesn’t have to be a smile — but connecting with people on any level sure makes us smile. ; )

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