Walk Around The Moon
In an episode of Apple Music’s Time Crisis ahead of the May 2023 release of Walk Around the Moon, Dave Matthews said two of his biggest influences were Talking Heads and Kate Bush. Not the names you might immediately expect, but ones that make a poetic kind of sense. Like Bush or David Byrne, Matthews is an artist whose style seems obvious from a distance but almost impossible to trace or imitate when you get up close. Grateful Dead? “None,” he says. Van Morrison? “Absolutely.” But 10 albums and 30 years in and there’s still no better comparison than themselves. Started in 2020 and featuring new keyboardist Buddy Strong, the songs on Moon can still summon the dreaminess of childhood with the grain and melancholy of middle age (“The Ocean and the Butterfly”) and make simple, sentimental folk ripple with just enough uncertainty to sound mysterious (“Something to Tell My Baby”). And where other adult-contemporary-adjacent acts tend to round their edges in the name of a smoother and more palliative experience, the angst and, frankly, horniness of DMB’s rock songs have always made them pricklier than they first appear (“After Everything,” “The Only Thing”). Aging gracefully, sure—but more importantly, with honesty.