Local artist June Moon is a multi-faceted songstress
Forever pulls influence from music of the future and past, blurring the lines of what it means to be a pop musician in 2018. Her music occupies a realm of groove-oriented pop that defies simple categorization. The Montreal-based songstress combines a rhythm-sensible sound with tender vocals. All of this works in tandem with a driving backing beat that would fit snugly on any club playlist. I had the good fortune of talking to her before her show opening for Austra at this year’s POP Montreal festival.
June Moon took on the moniker Forever as a means to express herself creatively. She explained that she uses the name not just as a musician, but as the name she works under as a general artist. She has dabbled in various other forms of media, including a venture called Café Lanai with Michael Brock and a monthly radio show on Arbutus Records’ n10.as radio.
Yet, music is really where Moon funnels most of her creative energy. Taking cues from Rihanna as her main source of inspiration, each of her songs is an exploration of femininity in an industry dominated by the male perspective. She asserts this through the softly articulated timbres of her voice, which exude both desire and a need to be understood.
Her first eponymous EP, which came out in 2016, fully embodies this theme. What makes the project especially unique, though, is the way Moon approaches her craft. “A lot of my creative approach is improvised,” she said. “I have to align myself creatively and prepare myself depending on who I am working with.”
This method of artistry is what injects Moon’s music with a spontaneous spirit. Each song comes to life in a different way. According to Moon, her music is initially born from a beat, sometimes a melody that springs into her head, or a lyric. “I just feel a vibe and go from there,” she said.
Her first EP was co-produced with Project Pablo and widely acclaimed online, spawning an iTunes and Spotify Global Viral 50 charting single, as well as receiving airplay from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Double J.
Moon’s most recent musical venture included producer spots with local talent Ouri. The two worked closely on the latest Forever EP, which consists of six sultry pop gems. According to Moon, the project sees the singer indulging in her innermost pop ideals, exploring the possibilities of melody and mood to their absolute limits. “It’s super up-tempo,” she said. “My first record was kind of hazy and a bit blurry.”
Last year, her first EP got a co-release with The Vinyl Factory, who have previously worked with The xx, Daft Punk and Massive Attack. Although a date has not been set for her upcoming EP, its first single, “Falling,” was released in May along with a video in July. Moon has also just been confirmed for the 2018 South by Southwest festival and is expected to announce a set of tour dates this year.
For now, Forever’s backing band has consisted mostly of close collaborators and friends. Ouri joined the singer on-stage at last year’s POP Montreal festival.
In addition to flexing her talents as a singer, Moon mentioned that her radio show acts as a second avenue for her to express herself. The show’s name, Flip Phone Forever, is a mentality the singer reflects in real life. She quite literally has a flip phone. This is a mid-2000s aesthetic Moon aims to emulate in her music. “I’m obsessed with my flip phone,” she said.
Moon expressed a deep admiration for vocalists. The radio show and her musical outings, among other things, allow the musician to share commonalities with the vocalists she admires. “I’m inspired by my peers. My friends do amazing artistic things, and I love having this vehicle to collaborate with them. They’ve all been on my show.
“I have all these projects, but they’re entwined,” she said. “They’re all part of my palette.”
Photo Courtesy of June Moon