Tastemakers: Walk The Moon
Our new video series presents a closer look at -- and an exclusive performance from -- the cool artists hitting the Billboard Tastemakers chart, which brings you the top-selling albums each week based on an influential panel of indie stores and small regional chains.
Video: Walk the Moon performs "Anna Sun"
Walk the Moon may be used to loftier heights, but they fit in just fine on the roof of Mophonic Studios, where Billboard captured the quartet playing a sun-soaked set of exuberant indie rock.
The Cincinnati, Ohio, act, composed of Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman and Eli Maiman, is gearing up for its major label debut on June 19. The band's "Anna Sun" EP, titled after the viral hit of the same name, was released in February. But "Anna Sun" has been making the rounds nearly since the band's inception -- in 2011, Esquire magazine dubbed it the song of the summer. The single-shot official video for "Anna Sun" has racked up more than a million views in the last few months, thanks in part to face paint and a little help from the band's friends.
"75 people showed up and people from the community, friends of friends," Petricca said. "Everyone brought their own costume and everyone brought their own props and kind of put their own stamp on it. I think that's why it's unique and I think that's why… or at least part of why it's gotten the attention it has."
Video: Walk the Moon performs "Tightrope"
The track came from the band's D.I.Y. days, which Petricca said found them "selling CDs out of the back of our truck." But their self-released debut album, "i want! i want!" led to a deal with RCA, who will release the band's self-titled sophomore album June 19.
When it came time to record the new set, the group turned to Ben Allen, the studio mastermind with Gnarls Barkley and Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavillion" on his resume. "When we would sort of have the dream producer discussion, Ben Allen was always one of the first names that popped up," Petricca said. The producer's home base in Atlanta made for a distraction-free place to make the record -- minus the "really amazing food."
Video: Walk the Moon performs "Next In Line"
The group has also drawn notice for its numerous tour dates, including recent stints with Young the Giant and Kaiser Chiefs, who shared their "English wisdom" with Walk the Moon. They'll have the chance to put it to use soon: they'll be hitting the road with Fun. in Europe this fall.
In the meantime, the band promises a mix of reworked, familiar songs and brand-new tracks on the summer release. "The record is definitely a mix of things that fans, people who have been fans of ours for a while, recognize, and a bunch of new stuff as well," Petricca said. "We're really eager to put it out into the world and see if people like it."