Austin, Texas husband-and-wife duo Moonray keeps the love going with their dreamlike blend of romantic themes and serene synthpop tones. In the months since their debut EP, Honeymoon, was released, the cathartic energy provided by Jonray and Barbara Higginbotham’s music has taken on a more resonant purpose, especially with the bleak, looming effects of Covid-19. Their latest single, “When You’re Around,” has gained the most traction of their releases thus far.
From its opening digital drum fill, the song promptly initiates a sweet, kitschy, and somewhat muzack-oriented instrumentation, given a dose of depth by the pacing of a crisp acoustic guitar. The vocal tonalities of both Jonray and Barbara are not only well-blended components within the involvement, but shine individually as synth parts in themselves. At the song’s halfway point is where a tonal shift occurs, as the wailing, fuzzy electric guitars add a kind of humorous edge, and a nuanced glimpse of their stylistic branching out at the same time. Times have definitely changed since Moonray debuted last year, but the poignancy of their music continues to be spread, in conjunction with their message of light, love, and life.