ARTIST NAME: Moonlight Social
SONG TITLE: Valleys and Peaks
RELEASE DATE: 4/26/19
Nashville-based duo Moonlight Social are excited to release their new single “Valleys and Peaks,” an earworm that Jeremy Burchard calls “the catchiest, most upbeat thing to come from me being depressed.”
Written by Burchard and Jennica Scott, “Valleys and Peaks” is the first song from a forthcoming album. A brand new music video also accompanies the single.
Burchard produced the song himself, also playing all of the instruments and mixing the tracks. Matched by Scott’s impeccable vocal arrangements, “Valleys and Peaks” emerges as a toe-tapper with serious substance.
The duo also produced, directed, and edited the music video, which serves as a visual representation of the themes in the tune — from the mental isolation that inspired the song to the resounding conclusion of reflective optimism.
Blending elements of country, alternative, and pop, Moonlight Social are no strangers to catchy songs.
After relocating to Nashville from Austin, TX 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 seem 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.
“Valleys and Peaks” is the next level for Moonlight Social. It’s their most personal song to date and a commitment to continually make music that refuses to bow to the clichés of genres. And it’s a sign of things to come.
Discuss the story behind your music video.
We wanted the music video to represent several things throughout the song.
When we started writing “Valleys and Peaks,” Jeremy was feeling really low.
The couch in the middle of the void represents a sense of emotional isolation, which is how the song started.
But throughout the video, the performing versions of us slowly start to take over, and then at the end, the two different versions of ourselves meet.
It symbolizes how this song is as much a reminder to us as anything. Jeremy produced, directed, and edited the music video.
State the name of the locations in your music video.
We used a warehouse in Nashville that used to be a T-shirt factory. Now it’s also attached to a recording studio called South By Sea!
List the members of the crew that produced this video and use this opportunity to thank them.
Our friends are amazing. Besides Jeremy and Jennica (the duo), Richard Storbeck (guitars) and Brady Reuter (drums) appear in the video. The crew of the video is:
Jeremy Burchard: Director
Luis Rey: Camera Operator
Brian Huefner: Playback
Nick Gergens: Production Assistant
Explain your emotional state while shooting the music video.
While shooting the actual video we were really excited; it’s so fun to create.
But Jeremy describes the song as “The catchiest, most upbeat thing to come from me being depressed,” so we really needed the video to capture that sentiment.
Discuss your music career so far.
We met as members of the marching band at The University of Texas at Austin.
Jeremy recording our EP in his garage apartment between classes at school and we eventually started winning local band and songwriting contests.
We crowdfunded our first record, Heading South, and toured around Texas for years.
We started traveling to Nashville and in 2015 put out a single called “Rub A Little Dirt On It,” which won the SongDoor International Songwriting Contest (Country Category).
We moved to Nashville for good in 2016 and in 2018 put out our EP Make You Smile, which debuted on the Billboard charts for the first time in our career.
We then committed to putting out more singles and music videos and in April 2019 released “Valleys and Peaks,” the first song on a forthcoming 2020 album.
Tell us if you aspire to go into acting.
Jeremy would love to do acting if the opportunity came up! And maybe Jennica…Who knows? We have a great time on camera though and pretty much act the same regardless.
Tell us your gains and losses in the music business.
So many ups and downs – Obviously, it’s nice to get the kind of love and encouragement we’ve gotten from both fans and critics throughout our career.
But there are so many things you can’t plan for. We’ve played huge festivals and we’ve played to empty bars. We signed a booking agreement and left that booking agreement. We’ve made money and ran out of money.
Ultimately we’re at the point where we’re not going to let anything get in the way of putting out music that matters to us. And we have to trust that hard work and honest music will help us get to the level of financial independence to keep doing it forever.
List the media that have supported you so far with this song.
We just started promoting! But we’ve gotten some great love on Spotify, a YouTube channel called IndieVibes, and this website: I Am Tuned Up.
Tell us how you manage your time.
Honestly, when we’re not doing odds and ends to pay the bills, we’re writing, recording, filming videos, and working on promoting ourselves. It’s a LOT of work and we don’t sleep much, but we believe in ourselves and know that’s what it takes.
Tell us how you are able to actualize success in your music career.
It comes in waves; having people who believe in you to help you along the way is always great, but it always comes down to knowing that nobody is going to work harder for it than you are.
We spent a lot of time being able to record our own music and videos so that we don’t have to raise thousands of dollars every time we want to put music out, and that’s been huge for us.
Tell us if you an independent artist or you are a signed artist and tell us how you run your music career.
We’re independent with a small team of trusted confidants and compadres who help us run everything.
List the individuals responsible for writing, production, recording, directing, choreography, promotion, and marketing of this project.
Jeremy Burchard and Jennica Scott – Literally, outside of the crew who helped us film the video, we did everything.
Tell us the instruments put together for the song.
Guitars (acoustic and electric), drums, mandolin, dobro, shakers, tambourine, keyboards, other effects and samples, and a bunch of singing!
Tell us your experience recording in the studio and shooting the music video.
It was awesome. We’ve done projects in all kinds of ways, and now we’re working largely out of the home studio we built, which affords us the time and space to make music how we want to make it.
The same goes with the video — we have the equipment to make the video, so all we really need is the location and time.
It’s so incredible being completely in control of your own artistic output.
Jeremy spends a lot of time on the mixing and editing, which is great — but can also sometimes become a situation where it’s like, “Ok, just step back from this for a moment because you’ve been working on it so long that you can’t see the forest for the trees anymore.”
Tell us the advice you will give to a new artist planning to shoot a music video.
Be really, REALLY good to your crew — no matter how big or small. Also, treat location and lighting like actors. If you only have a very small or modest budget, use the less expensive camera and lens but don’t skimp on the lighting or the location.
This video is as cool as it is because of how we were able to light and edit it. All in, we paid less than $500 on renting location and lights. Also, plan as much as you can. Storyboard. Have a vision. Whatever amount of time you think it’s going to take, increase it by 50%. And most importantly, HAVE FUN.
Tell us the estimate of a commercial music video based on your experience.
$3,000-6,000 is a pretty common price for an indie or small label shoot in Nashville. Some people want a lot more than that depending on the concept, but if the song is good you can create a compelling music video with nothing but an iPhone and clever editing.
Tell us the reason you shot a video for this song.
It means a lot to us and we felt a video could do a really good job of capturing the ethos of the song.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
“Moonlight Social” is a name we chose to represent those super honest moments in your life when it’s late at night and you’re lying on the floor with your best friend having the most honest moments of your life. That’s what we want our music to feel like.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
“Valleys and Peaks” captures the entire point of the song — life is ups and downs and it’s okay to embrace both for what they are.