Other than fromis_9’s debut in January, producers Iggy and Youngbae have had a pretty barren 2018. Most of their recent work has been relegated to b-sides on girl group albums. But now the duo has been enlisted to pen the debut title track of new group NeonPunch. And rather than emulate the innocent pop sound they’ve crafted for Gfriend, Moonlight punches forward with a trendy house piano beat.
While the song doesn’t do anything new with its chosen genre, there’s plenty of excitement to be mined from its non-stop club beat. It certainly helps that Iggy and Youngbae have drenched the entire thing in disco strings, which give Moonlight a wonderful sense of atmosphere. This is built upon by a catchy brass loop that underlines the repetitive post-chorus refrain. None of this is pulled off with quite as much breathless finesse as ONF’s outstanding Complete earlier this month, but Moonlight shares some of the same DNA.
As much as I appreciate Moonlight’s unflagging energy, its tight construction doesn’t allow much room for NeonPunch to flex their strength as performers. After a brief, beguiling introduction, the song’s momentum takes over, rendering the vocals secondary to the sheer sugary pop bliss of the melody. As someone who always ranks song composition above any other aspect, this doesn’t bother me too much. The girls give a strong, polished performance, even if it ends up being a little faceless. I thought I was sick of this 90’s house trend, but so far it’s resulted in some of this season’s strongest comebacks.