Rising Into the Spotlight

Music Review: Grace VanderWaal’s new song Moonlight

Emily Coulsey, Contributor

Released this November, singer/songwriter Grace VanderWaal’s debut studio album “Just the Beginning” features her single “Moonlight.” It is one of the 12 original songs.

VanderWaal’s new album is mainly pop, which highlights her impressive ukulele playing. Initially, the song “Moonlight” comes across as fun and upbeat, while it pulls them in with VanderWaal’s unique voice.

At only 13 years old, Grace VanderWaal has achieved what many only dream of. VanderWaal is the eleventh season winner of the NBC competition show America’s Got Talent. VanderWaal received the golden buzzer from Howie Mandel after the incredible performance of her original song “I Don’t Know My Name.” VanderWaal used her winnings to begin a campaign that helps schools that are in need.

Since then, VanderWaal’s fan base has exploded. She has a large following on both Instagram and YouTube, where she frequently posts original songs and music covers. She says, “My favorite part of it all is performing and seeing how my fans react to my music.  I love being able to sing something I’ve created.”

Recently, Grace VanderWaal was recognized by Billboard Magazine’s “21 under 21 List of Fast-Rising Music Stars” for the second time. VanderWaal has also starred on The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, opened the 2017 Special Winter Olympics, and headlined sold-out concerts. However, even through the fame, VanderWaal sticks to her roots. “The songs I write are based on my life experiences,” VanderWaal says. She continues to keep her family close to her, as she did growing up in New York.

Grace VanderWaal’s song “Moonlight” is easily described as upbeat and catchy

— Emily Coulsey

Previously, Grace VanderWaal released her debut album, “Perfectly Imperfect”, which consisted of six very popular songs, including “I Don’t Know My Name”. Each of her songs from both albums hold strong messages in her lyrics, which she writes herself. “I channel whatever feelings I have into my lyrics, and if I feel in my heart that a song is right, then it’s right,” says VanderWaal of her songwriting craft. The most recognizable factor in VanderWaal’s music would be her ukulele playing, which is a unique touch.

Grace VanderWaal’s song “Moonlight” is easily described as upbeat and catchy; it is a song that you will find yourself singing in the shower or humming throughout the day. “Moonlight” truly shows VanderWaal’s young and positive energy. VanderWaal is often described as having a “smoky voice”, which sounds very raw and empowering, rather than autotuned. It is different compared to other artists today.

VanderWaal prides herself on being real, and writes about what she feels. VanderWaal’s music video that accompanies “Moonlight” is one that will make you get up and begin dancing. It emphasizes the song’s great beat, leaving you tapping your foot along with the rhythm. The video is appropriate for all ages; even your little sister will want to watch it.

I would rate the song “Moonlight” and its music video 5/5 stars. It is entertaining as well as catchy, leaving the audience wanting more. It is a great tune if you are going on a run, or just want to relax. Grace VanderWaal’s strong messages shine through her lyrics. Simon Cowell referred to VanderWaal as “the next Taylor Swift,” proving that she is a budding artist that fans should keep their eyes on.