Wide Open (Foreword)
If There's Nothing Left...
Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI's conceptual debut album MOONCHILD mines three of the moon's phases as a metaphor for personal evolution. The first offers four songs that encompass a sense of wonder and optimism, like a crescent: The hazy opening track “Wide Open (Foreword)” is a clear-eyed look at potential futures for better and worse before “Switchblade” leaps headfirst into the unknown. “Feeling bulletproof and far from faces I don't miss,” she sings as the song peaks. “So many brand-new risks to take, and I'm feeling brave.” The album floats along on this ethereal bubble before the second phase pops it, letting in the darkness of an eclipse. The trio of songs contained within this section reflect the loss of innocence that comes after the world has had its way. Amid the ominous creep of “Tide”—her voice now deeper and distorted—she sturdies herself, vowing to not repeat the same mistake of trusting too easily. She seems to take aim at the toxicity of fame in the following track, “Pandemonium.” “We're dying in the dark, it's written there in the stars,” she proclaims as the lightness returns to her vocals. “You're understood by so little and loved only from afar.” The third and final phase, much as the full moon, represents resolution and actualization. It begins with love and completes with a message, or prayer even, of hope: “May we grow, may we bloom, and don't look back/The future looks like you and me.”