Luna Li enchants on her bewitching single “Trying”
Toronto-based self-described moon fairy Luna Li (Hannah Bussiere Kim) couldn’t have picked a better stage name to release her magical brand of music under. Throughout the slew of singles that she’s put out, there’s always been an underlying glint of a mystically rebellious spirit and effortlessly cool air that has shaped Luna Li’s blend of defiant indie rock and indie pop (Opal Angel EP, “Silver Into Rain”) into something special. That’s not to mention her other ventures as the drummer for garage rock trio Tange, whose 2019 debut Tangible EP is a romp and a half. But on her most recent song, “Trying,” Luna Li tries casting a completely different kind of spell.
Anchored by Luna Li’s haunting vocals, “Trying” is an indie pop song that is surprisingly soft and vulnerable for the artist. Gone are the grimy guitars that used to lead such brash melodies like “Silver Into Rain”–instead, the track is laden with sorrowful violin strings, soft layered whispers, and a xylophonic motif that adds to her pastel fairy charm. A classically trained pianist and violinist, the musician’s unforgettable orchestral touches breathe life into the track.
But there’s a reason for the sudden shift in approach: as Luna Li describes it, the song “is about anxiety and the feeling of desperation and sense of unreality that can happen when everything gets too overwhelming.” She continues, “The dynamics and dreamy feel of the music reflect the feeling of being dazed and restless.” Doubtful lyrics that reflect Li’s state of mind: “Am I in love / Or just afraid to be alone?” and “All this love / Is this a waste of our time” just adds to Luna Li’s troubled inner monologue. But when she returns with the cathartic climax of the song, belting out, “It’ll feel alright in the morning time,” there’s no doubt that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Similarly, don’t miss Luna Li’s similarly alluring video for “Trying,” shot by director Yan Zhu. Recalling a vintage aesthetic of dusty treasured films, Zhu’s video is just as spellbinding and timeless as the song that it’s representing.
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!