King & Prince have had a very strong 2021. Beating Hearts was an instant hit for me, while Magic Touch and Namae Oshiete proved to be huge growers. But with On The Moonlit Night, When You Fall In Love (how’s that for a mouthful?), they’ve delivered their best single of the year. Fans of their 2018 debut Cinderella Girl will be thrilled, as this feels like its direct successor. More casual listeners may not be as enthralled, but the song wasn’t designed to please everyone.
Venture no further if you’re allergic to cheese. This song is cheese overload. The vocals mug like exaggerated anime characters. The entire instrumental seems fueled by pixy dust. But if we’re talking about cringey affectations, this particular style doesn’t bother me at all. It’s so far removed from the sort of cheesiness you’d find in Western pop. I love the specificity of this sound.
The best King & Prince songs in this style simply drip with melody, and that’s Moonlit’s calling card. The entire track is laser-focused on its melodic intentions, never wasting a segment on time-filling, generic refrains. By design, the verses are as catchy as the chorus, pulsing with an understated hookiness that sets the song’s fantastical tone. I absolutely adore the pre-chorus (which also opens the track). As important as pre-choruses have become in our post-EDM world, they too often blend into the same, familiar build. In Moonlit, this moment shifts the song on its axis, offering a shot of symphonic grandeur that resets the scene without upending the momentum. It’s a wonderful surprise, and gives the bubblegum melodies a sense of stateliness.
This leads into Moonlit’s effusive chorus, which is just one long exclamation point of giddy glee. It’s so sugary you’ll need a dentist, but that same headrush made Cinderella Girl an instant classic. King & Prince excel in this realm. Taken on their own, their vocals can be a little thin. But forged together, they have an almost transcendent quality. That’s in full display during On The Moonlit Night, When You Fall In Love – a song so exuberant it’s almost impossible to hate.
*Note: this mv version omits verse two