NYU student musician Campbell Moon takes listeners into space with his new single | by Doga Usanmaz | April 2022

Campbell Moon, a self-proclaimed internet kid, embraces an electronic, spacey sound with his new single “close2me.”

Graphic by the author (image credit to onlyabowl).

In the summer of 2019, NYU sophomore’s best friend Campbell Moon unknowingly set him on the path to what would become his life’s passion by spontaneously purchasing FL Studios, a software music production, and suggesting they try their hand at making beats. Moon spent every weekday locked in his house, watching Youtube videos that detailed how to use the complex software and slowly discovering his newfound obsession.

Creating new beats eventually turned into a desire to write his own lyrics to accompany them, so the New York-born, Texas-raised artist pulled his dad’s old guitar out of the attic and sat down on the his mother’s piano. He taught himself to play both instruments during that summer. But it wasn’t until the pandemic that her new hobby turned into something more: a career in music. He spent his days “playing Minecraft and producing and writing songs,” Moon said. “And I was like, I really like that.”

After honing his craft in 2020, Moon became an independent alternative pop artist. His first EP, Mercurywhich was released in December 2021, established Moon’s entry into the music scene with a focus on creating a spatial and out-of-this-world aesthetic. Mercury was ultimately rooted in a mostly indie sound: the heavy bass of the song “Poltergeist” and the acoustic guitar of “Sometimes” reflect how the EP was largely instrumental, dominated by heavy beats. The singer’s voice too, throughout this EP, has an earthy and emotive tone.

Her new single, ‘close2me’, takes on a whole new sound, signaling a shift in Moon’s artistic path and genre. It presents a new moon that, rather than embracing a solid indie sound, immerses its listeners in an electronic and digitized universe. On his new sound, Moon said, “I feel very Gen Z. I really feel like an internet kid; we grew as the Internet grew too. It has always been part of our lives. I want to convey that with the electronic vibe.

The new single, which is released on April 28, achieves this electronic aesthetic with the use of synthesizers as well as a Moon sound described as “robotic”, enhanced by a clip that repeatedly says “come close to me”. His voice is distinct from that seen in Mercury, because it is profoundly monotonous, computerized and even distorted at times. The contrast between the repetitions of this line does not occur because of changes in Moon’s tone, but rather because of the sound effects. Combined with lyrics that reflect the physical desire for intimacy, the track demonstrates the tragic loneliness that accompanies our increasingly digitized world.

According to Moon, it all started with recording that line and giving it that robotic effect, which later dominated the song. “From there, I built all the arpeggios and chords. I think there were six or seven different versions before this one,” he said. “The most important things in terms of production are the little things throughout the track that keep it dynamic and moving.”

“It’s only two chords, so it can get boring fast, so I try to add just little noises and things that you might not even notice,” he added. These little noises are scattered throughout the song. As Moon sings “You Take Me Higher,” listeners encounter a more psychedelic and dreamy tone, working to create the single’s spatial atmosphere.

This fast-paced, futuristic song is anything but boring. The 20-year-old’s 2022 debut single marks his move to his next project, Venus. He’s already decided that he doesn’t want his music to be singular, self-contained pieces, but rather a massive multi-album project – a project that goes in the order of planetary configurations, inspired by his own name. This potentially means that Venus will take listeners out of this world, only for the album that follows to bring them back to Earth.

Currently under contract to NYU label Village Records, which is run by music majors, Moon and his band can also be spotted performing at various venues around the city, including East Berlin, the Quadio studios and more recently at Kobrick Coffee CO.

On performing in the city and being signed to NYU, Moon said, “It’s very empowering. Back home, being an artist is not taken seriously. It’s an amazing feeling for people to accept and appreciate my art.

Discover the music of Campbell Moon on Spotify, Apple Music, sound cloudand Youtube.