Bucks/Philly band Moonroof has one goal – to have its songs stuck in people’s heads after one listen. Lead vocalist Dave Kim is making big promises that the upcoming single “Sweatshirt,” slated for release on Friday, will do just that.
“To get people’s attention, you only have a couple seconds,” Kim told The Times during a recent Zoom chat. “I want them to hear our song once or twice and they can sing it back.”
Moonroof, which consists of Kim, Danny Walsh on lead guitar, Kevin Randolph on bass and Dan Rendine on drums, was formed in 2016 after the guys graduated from Bloomsburg University. Over the years, the indie pop/rock band has performed throughout the area, including at Radio 104.5’s annual birthday show. Here, they opened for industry giants like the Lumineers, Grouplove and Death Cab for Cutie at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey.
To date, Moonroof has dropped a number of singles, including “Honey Honey” and “Vanilla,” most of which boast the theme of believing in love.
“Even though I don’t know much about it,” Kim said with a laugh. “But I watch a lot of movies, I’ve been on dates and everything.”
“Sweatshirt” follows suit.
“It’s a song about, you can get over the person and you should get over the person, but we use an object – a sweatshirt – and you just can’t seem to throw it away. It’s the last piece of the person that you really enjoyed,” explained Kim. “If you do get rid of it, you’re really admitting, ‘Hey, this is the last thing, the last time.’ ”
Listeners of Moonroof can usually expect a track that’s upbeat and catchy, but with a darker lyrical undertone.
“No one ever notices the sad message because we’re smiling and laughing,” said Kim, who said the band’s overall vibe draws heavily from The 1975.
Another single “Bored and Numb” is expected to drop in July. Like “Sweatshirt,” Kim promised the track will have heartbreaking lyrics and an earworm-inducing melody. This single, said Kim, chronicles the trials and tribulations of trying to find love after a breakup on dating apps like Tinder. It’s oftentimes impossible to fill the void of the ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.
“You keep telling yourself you’re fine, yet you still think about that other person,” he said. “It goes, ‘I get bored, I get numb when I meet someone.’ ”
All of Moonroof’s music is family-friendly and attracts fans of all ages. Kim shared how the previous single “First” is relevant for teenagers in their first relationship, as well as adults in their 50s who told Kim they feel a sense of nostalgia while listening.
“We just want to be universal,” said Kim. “We don’t curse in our songs. I think parents will appreciate that.”
“Sweatshirt” and “Bored and Numb” will be part of Moonroof’s debut EP, which the guys hope to release in October under Free Dive Records. They were signed to the label at the end of 2020.
Like most performers, COVID-19 forced Moonroof to cancel all gigs during the spring and summer. Despite an empty schedule, Kim wasn’t about to sit at home doing nothing. Instead, he and Rendine, of Chalfont, set out to increase Moonroof’s social media presence.
“We decided, if we can’t do shows and we can’t physically be the band that we want to be, then we can do an online presence,” said Kim. “We wanted to put ourselves in front of as many people as we could.”
When COVID-19 numbers started to decline and businesses began to resume operations, Kim took an “old school” approach to promote his band.
“I started going to actual stores, restaurants, little bars that were opening up, and I started physically introducing myself,” he said. “I told them about the band. I handed out business cards. But that’s the grind. Everyone likes the highlights of doing music, but I don’t think anyone likes the behind-the-scenes, the business side to this.”
Still, Kim’s networking initiatives worked. Moonroof currently has almost 5,000 followers on Instagram and over 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. It also has several upcoming shows, including at the Moorestown Performing Arts Center on June 25. An EP release event is in the works for October.
“I remember asking to play shows when we first started and a lot of emails were like, ‘Oh, your online presence is not there,’ ” reflected Kim, a self-described impatient person. “I’m very hard on myself. But I learned over the years to literally take every little thing that happens as a win.”
Keep up with Moonroof at moonroofmusik.com and on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org