Luna Keller - If I Was No More

February 23, 2024

Today, dear reader and indie music fan, get ready for some chills. After all, that's what you're here for. But what you're about to discover surpasses anything you could have imagined so far.

We've had collaborations between two artists born thanks to Indie Music Center. To be honest with you, we even have a folder filled with mp3s of songs that would never have seen the light of day without IMC, and that's our well-hidden pride. Then we've had collaborations born outside of our magical platform, and sometimes these songs come back to us like a boomerang eager to return home. But this time, it's different. Because it's not just two wonderful artists we find united on the same project... but FOUR! I'll tell you more, don't worry.

Let's set the scene: Luna Keller is releasing a concept album "Ocean Inside of Me" this year with 10 tracks, each with its own music video, telling the story of her descent into darkness during a very dark period of her life, then the ascent towards the light to reach serenity. A very personal project, almost intimate... which nevertheless was going to bring together hundreds of people! A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter helped her realize this project thanks to many generous donors. And now, every month, a song is released as a single, accompanied by its music video.

It's time for "If I Was No More," chapter V, to see the light of day today. And when I say "see the light of day," it's a bit ironic, since it's the darkest song on the album, written at a time when Luna was at her lowest, as she so eloquently recounts:

"I was in a really dark place, and it was a painful one to write. It’s not easy to talk about that headspace where everything got so heavy that part of me craved to no longer be there to bear it. It’s a scary thought, one that comes with a lot of guilt and shame. Out of all the songs on the album this one is the one that feels the hardest to share, even now, from the other side. But it’s also one of the best songs I have ever written and it’s an important one to share."

Yes, of course, there are feelings and memories that we sometimes dare not share because we might fear the judgment of others and their not always kind gaze. And yet, sharing one's suffering with the world is a bit like unknowingly helping one's neighbor. Let me explain, don't worry.

We live in an era dominated by social media, where self-acceptance is more difficult because we are constantly tempted to compare ourselves to others (at least, to the version of themselves they choose to show on a screen). It's a real societal problem, and it worries me a lot. It breaks my heart to see many teenagers, whether they are girls or boys, spend 8 hours a day on Instagram or TikTok comparing themselves to influencers, only to come to the final conclusion that their own life is miserable and worthless compared to that of these so-called stars. This leads to terrible tragedies where these young people see only one way out: death.

Because that's what this song is about. In fact, its title is quite telling: If I Was No More. And when I said that sharing one's suffering helps others, I really meant it. This song clearly has the power to reach out to young people in difficulty, in pain, lacking in self-confidence because they compare themselves too much to 100% fake idols. This song can also speak to those who see no solution, who think they have reached the bottom of the pit. Because this track holds the key that leads to the surface, and it's hidden in the last line: "So I am once more". To put it simply and concretely: you'll never know if the sun still exists on the surface until you try to come up.

Of course, the lyrics are the centerpiece of this new masterpiece signed by Luna Keller, but they don't do all the work. I mentioned a collaboration of four people. And good news, they're all artists you've already seen on Indie Music Center. First, on acoustic guitar, the fabulous Ben Greenberg, who is currently working behind the scenes for many artists, and whose songs we miss dearly. Then, on strings, the irreplaceable Harley Eblen, who recently moved us to tears with "The Last Day of December". These string arrangements provide that true touch of emotion that is missing from every song and can trigger the ultimate shiver. And of course, one of the final stages being production, we find the talented singer-songwriter and producer Dominic Romano at the helm, who recently released a collaboration with another German artist, Lucie Glang (an artist we'll give you updates on next week, by the way! Yes, the indie music world is still as small and fascinating). A successful team effort, thanks to a perfect symbiosis of all participants and above all a great understanding of what existed, and the goal to achieve, as Luna explains:

"When I sent this one to my lovely Producer Dominic Romano he noted that despite the dark lyrics the guitar has a “this too shall pass” feeling to it, and I really like that description. We approached the song trying to give it that cathartic feeling where light and dark stand in contrast and make each other visible. One of my favourite additions to achieve this is the beautiful string arrangement by Harley Eblen, I cried when I first heard it."

Yes, I cried too the first time I heard this song, a few weeks ago. Because it hits hard! But today, I'm more inclined to cry tears of joy, so thrilled that this gem is now available to everyone, because I know it will help lost souls.

Let's now talk about the music video that accompanies "If I Was No More". It's the fifth music video in the series, and despite a staging that seems simpler, it's the one I've preferred so far. Of course, there are always these striking contrasts that I love so much about Luna Keller. The contrast between darkness, when she sings in this dark room, with the light of a suspended lamp, in an atmosphere visibly cold enough for her breath to produce steam. Here you get a second contrast between cold and warm. One might first believe in the contrast between this poorly insulated and very cold concrete room and the warmth of this hanging lamp. But there's also, subtly, a second hidden contrast: that between the cold Luna, lost, at the bottom of the pit (let's say it: almost dead), and the warm Luna, very much alive, coming back to life and hope, with this beautiful warm light caressing her beautiful hair all the way down).

Staging what could look like her own burial (or at least a moment of reflection with the former Luna) in the forest, the artist drops a few hints about her personality. First, this red notebook, placed there, prominently, and which discreetly makes its appearance several times on screen. Why is it there? You have to know the artist to understand the symbolism. Luna writes her songs in notebooks. And if Luna "was no more," these notebooks would be what she would leave behind as the most precious thing in the world she would have left: her songs. Her friends, as she calls them. And then these candles placed everywhere. Because Luna loves candles, and if you watch her live streams on Twitch, there's never one without a candle. It would be sacrilege.

Finally, a very strong symbolism, that of the rope she unravels, until she meets death too closely, before turning back and encountering the cold Luna from previous music videos, wrapped in a plastic bag. And it's in this last minute that we get a big slap in the face and feel chills all over our bodies. What genius! What talent! What chills! When we are helpless witnesses to this surreal scene (please read below*) where the lost girl realizes that the choice she imposed on herself was obvious. She chose the light. The symbolism is everywhere, even in the choice of outfits: Luna stands in the middle, between white and black, dressed in gray. It took thinking about it, she thought about it. Because this young artist is gifted, we've already told you. And we promise you, the following chapters are even more breathtaking and luminous.

Reach out to Luna Keller

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*Niko's notes

Yes, for once, I treated myself to a little whimsy: the image accompanying my article isn't taken from a press kit I received. Because I haven't received anything since I no longer accept music submissions. It's simply a screenshot I took from the music video at what seems to me the most interesting moment. Look at the intensity of this tortured Luna's gaze, trapped amidst her demons. This image is worth far more than any press picture. And it allows me to highlight Luna's acting talents. Every intention, every gesture, every glance, every facial expression is intense and sincere. And having seen a few "Behind The Scenes," I know she takes a lot of pleasure in doing this. Will we ever see our Luna on the big screen in cinemas? I wouldn't be surprised.