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“Blood Moon” by Jessica Carter Altman

There aren’t many singer/songwriters yet to graduate into the mainstream market who have the brilliant knack for dishing out original, poetic verses that Jessica Carter Altman does, and she gives listeners everything she’s got in the brand new single “Blood Moon,” which is out now everywhere that credible pop music is sold and streamed. “Blood Moon,” much like some of the more understated works that have been making a lot of noise on college radio, is steeped in an electropop stylization that contrasts with the conventional melodicism that Altman dispenses in the best possible way, and even though it doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know about this masterful up and comer, it serves to solidify her reputation as one of the most accessible vocalists to come out of her scene in a long time. 

The last couple of singles that Altman’s peer group has released have hinted that she might be going in more of an electronica-focused direction, but this latest studio cut sees her embracing the groovier side of her artistic identity with zero hesitance. Her verses are swaggering, her statements sound mature, and while she’s not breaking any new ground with her prose, her execution is more on-point in this track than it’s ever been in the past. In a relatively short time, she’s taken a flexible melodic model and transformed it into an arena-shaking, anthemic powerhouse vocal that is truly hers and hers alone, and I think that her contemporaries – young and old alike – could stand to learn something from her disciplined attitude towards recording. 

Altman’s vocal isn’t as pronounced in this mix as it could have been given the arrangement being as liberal as this is, but it by no means takes a backseat to the visceral churn of the synths during the under three and a half minutes the song lasts. Instead of tailoring everything around her lyrical emissions, her serenade is on an equal playing field with the instrumentation, allowing every intricate element in the track an opportunity to throttle us with sheer physicality. Everything in “Blood Moon” was constructed to engage us and inspire mental images of spring and all the excitement that its endless days can provide, and in this sense, it’s one of the most complete compositions that I’ve listened to in the last year. 

I had a lot of expectations coming into this single, and I’m pleased to report that Jessica Carter Altman met every one of them with “Blood Moon,” a song that I would deem worthy of any critic’s top ten list this season. There’s a lot for us to absorb in “Blood Moon,” and given its short running time, it’s an easy track to play on repeat if you dig a gilded groove as much as I do. Whether you’re just now discovering her music for the first time or have been listening to her professional odyssey since the release of her rookie single, this is a worthwhile listen that will get anyone on team Altman, and my gut tells me that it won’t be the last smashing song she releases before the year is out. 

Mindy McCall



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