Toronto-born artist Luna Li’s debut album Duality acts as a meditation on all things love and loneliness, accompanied by dream-like instrumentals that will make you both yearn for connection, and need nobody but yourself, all in the same beat.
Breaking out of the bedroom-pop sound that initially gained her immense popularity on social media, this record goes on a genre-journey, seamlessly merging synth pop with fuzzy guitar solos and heavy basslines of rock, along with sweeping, melodic strings of classical.
Luna takes on the challenge of finding solace in being alone through her introspective lyrics, as her full instrumentals and soft, girlish voice act as a comforting presence through all of the uncertainty she voices.
The album’s first single “Afterglow” expresses a need to accept that certain relationships have been outgrown and are better left in the past.
“Trying” perfectly captures the wariness felt in the beginning stages of a new romance, questioning whether love or fear of loneliness is the true intention behind trying to make a relationship work.
“Boring Again”, a chill, synth-centric tune, stirs up memories of laying in your bedroom alone and dreaming about a future in which you finally know peace within yourself.
Due to their psychedelic nature, the songs do manage to fade into each other if you don’t pay close attention, yet Luna still manages to incorporate attention-grabbing sonic elements to jolt you from your daydreams and bring you back to reality.
“What You’re Thinking” breaks out as a rock-infused pop track, its heavy bass, mesmerizing vocal harmonies and ultra-catchy chorus mimicking the overthinking nature of the lyrics, detailing the desire to read others’ minds in order to always know the right thing to say in romantic relationships.
“Magic” showcases Li’s infinite versatility, initially a twinkling harp-and-drum track with floating vocals and self-reliant lyrics, transitioning into a sweet violin solo, only to then explode in an eruption of lush strings, punchy, psychedelic guitar and airy synths.
“Star Stuff” could almost be mistaken for a true indie rock tune, with a steady, fast-paced drum and bass beat, a buzzing guitar solo, and vocal technique reminiscent of Debbie Harry. The lyrics signify the transition from fearing being alone, to finding a new comfortability and inner confidence in knowing you’re the only person you can truly count on to love you fully and unwaveringly.
While her lyrics may voice doubts and insecurities, it seems Luna Li is perfectly secure in her unique sound and ever-growing musical ability. Duality only being her debut album is a tell-tale sign that the best is yet to come for Li as she continues to nurture her song-writing and the confidence she has clearly gained throughout the making of this record.