Peace Will Grind You Down, the debut album from D.C. experimental quartet Luna Honey, calls to mind Leonard Cohen’s final album, You Want it Darker. Not that there are many similarities to Cohen’s sound, mind you, but “darker” is probably the best way to describe the band’s brooding and atmospheric music. Recorded on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 and with their first single releasing today—another Friday the 13th—and the album set to drop on Friday, July 13, the band is recognizing and embracing the spooky nature of their music.
“Honey,” the first single on Peace Will Grind You Down, is a bit of a slow burn, starting with little more than a sparse bass line from Levi Flack and shimmering guitar from Benjamin Schurr (Br’er, Swoll, Pree) before gradually layering in Maura Pond’s ethereal vocals. About halfway through the track, Schurr’s guitar becomes distorted and Pond’s vocals become more emphatic, ramping up the intensity while remaining moody and introspective. “As it goes on,” Schurr says, “it gets subverted by the noisier elements that make up the rest of the record. It’s the most musically innocent sounding song, but as it builds it gets transformed into the world that the bands creates.”
Despite the darkness of that world, the heart of “Honey” is light. This is Pond’s first band, and she notes that she had been putting off making music out of concerns about not being a talented enough musician. In many ways, “Honey” represents her desire to move past those fears. “The song is about confronting your fears and about that intense wanting to step into the fire,” she says. “I do really think that music and love are the important, transformative things in our lives, and you have to go after those things.”