Alternative singer-songwriter Island Moons, aka Brandon Harwood, releases his new single/lyric video, “Hopes and Dreams,” a track lifted from his forthcoming debut album, Dreambell.
Island Moons explains, “One night I was playing my guitar before bedtime, and a melody arrived out of nowhere with just a few chords. I knew it was the start of something. Over a few weeks, the song took shape and the chorus solidified into a beautiful refrain. As it turned out, the lyrics became a heartfelt description of the exact process that I was living through here in New York City (even though in theory it can apply to anywhere). It’s about traipsing along and not having enough energy to lift one’s gaze and losing confidence with each step. However, the speaker knows there are dreams caked into the cracks in the concrete and can feel them seeping in through the soles of their worn sneakers or boots and oozing into their bones. It’s this balancing act that I wanted to portray in the song. It describes the process of staying committed to one’s art, one’s beliefs, and one’s purpose even in the face of doubt and fatigue – and all of the highs and lows along the way. It was recorded in upstate NY, and the arrangement has a foundational pulse of electric guitar that’s accented by acoustic textures, lush harmonies, and driving piano.”
Island Moons discovered his path during the pandemic when a forceful surge of creativity and inspiration encompassed him. He began to sing in the darkness of an NYC night, followed by later entering the studio, where, while recording, he came across an unpublished manuscript by Walt Whitman, giving him his artist’s name.
“Hopes and Dreams” opens on a mid-tempo rhythm topped by gleaming, swaying guitar leitmotifs, conjuring up suggestions of retro alt-rock merged with flavors of prog-rock-lite. Island Moons’ high, alluring voice imbues the lyrics with dreamy surfaces, at once evocative and exquisitely encouraging.
With “Hopes and Dreams,” Island Moons offers deliciously haunting vocals atop contagious layers of captivating harmonics.