Luna Shadows first caught our attention back in February with the release of “Cry Wolf,” an alluring track with an enticing hook. The song is also the perfect introduction to Luna’s unique sound and strong evidence that she is one of those rare talents who knows how to find her own voice without falling into a musical category rendered too niche.
“I worked towards my current sound for over five years. I threw out several albums that no one will ever hear before coming to this set of songs. There were lots of tears, lots of times when I had to tell myself that I could do better,” Luna says.
“My personal challenge was finding a way to combine my influences to create my own corner in the pop world — I grew up studying classical & jazz in school, playing punk rock on my own time, writing singer/songwriter folk songs on my bed with my acoustic guitar, over analyzing alternative music for hours at a time, and singing radio pop in the car or in the shower. Combining alternative soundscapes, vocally driven pop, singer/songwriter lyrics, classical intricacies, etc. without watering anything down too much – that was the challenge that I gave myself.”
And taking that challenge has certainly paid off — there is no denying the deft artistry behind each of Luna’s songs. No two sounds alike, but all carry her distinct signature sound. A sound she has cleverly called “Echo Park Pop” because all her songs were written “in garages and bedrooms under the palm trees of Echo Park.”
Even the most talented artists are shy sometimes, however.
“I’m extremely shy when it comes to sharing music. I’m actually quite terrified to show anyone anything — but, I am first and foremost my own biggest critic,” Luna admits.
“Usually, I will go through lots of drafts on my own before anyone hears anything. I like to work out my ideas before I share them. The first people that get to hear would be my producers. Fortunately, we have really similar taste — songs that have a melancholy slant. We’ve got a system worked out where they can give me negative feedback, and then there’s a ‘prove-it’ or lose-it moment: If they say they dislike something I’ve done, either I agree with them and re-work it, or I disagree and fight for my idea. If I give them a good enough explanation for why I’ve done something, usually they come around to agree with me.”
This rising star names Hayley Williams as one of her biggest role models, which shows in her confidence, as well as her edgy and distinctive fashion sense. And Luna — who says Sailor Moon would play her in a biopic — believes that personal style plays a big part in portraying who she is as an artist.
I always like to look at the whole picture. Any opportunity for self-expression is of interest to me. Music is my go-to art form, but other days it’s fashion, photography, or visual art.
“If you’ve been to my Instagram — I took almost all of the photos. Lots of them are film that I developed myself. When it comes to fashion, my personal style changes with my mood. I like that about fashion — with music, I’m so calculated and focused. With fashion, I can wake up in the morning and be something totally different. I change my hair a lot, too. It’s been every color of the rainbow in the past few years. Blue, green, pink, lavender, blonde, black, red… you name it,” Luna says.
Luna just released the track “Waves,” is currently working on new tracks in the studio and promises there is “an EP at the end of this rainbow.”
One day she hopes to play a live set at Coachella, but for now she likes to play it one day at a time.
“My goals are a bit like moving targets. Soon as I knock one down, a new one already exists. But, there are some things that I think would feel pretty fulfilling.”