Alien and proud
Local artist Münechild finds earthly connection through other planets
Earth is destroyed due to a large irreversible catastrophe. An alien named Münechild, who’d been living on Earth for years, is transported away to a new planet moments before Earth’s destruction. He’s not sure how, or why, he’s sent away. All he knows is that he’s on a strange new planet trying to find his place in this very weird world.
This is the backdrop for the new EP Native Land, by indie artist Münechild (real name Isaiah Thompson), released on June 19. It’s a gloomy, reverb-soaked indie-rock record. The concept is high, but at its core, it’s a relatable, albeit dark, record about growing up and trying to adjust as an adult.
“Hopefully the ideas will make sense to people,” Thompson says.
The character name and artist moniker Münechild is Thompson’s childhood nickname, acquired from some graffiti that said “I am the Moonchild.”
By creating these worlds and characters, Thompson can express parts of his own life and identity that he struggles to articulate otherwise.
“There’s some things I can’t put into words sometimes,” Thompson says. “I can only do it artistically, through music.”
So far, Thompson has released six EPs, including Native Land, along with some stand-alone singles. His most popular song, “Amazon Hippie,” from his second EP Casino, has gotten a surprising 130,000 listens on his Soundcloud page—well above any of his other songs. The only explanation he has for the song’s popularity is that it, unlike all his other songs, is (relatively) happy.
“I have no idea why I can’t write a happy song. It’s something I can’t do,” Thompson says.
The song, which is quite catchy, imagines the main character with the girl he loves inside a psychedelic rainforest. They celebrate how they are different from everyone else (“We’re the hippies of the world”), explore the planet and find happiness together.
“It still has the Münechild elements, just that it has a different vibe,” Thompson says. “I’m trying to make more songs like ’Amazon Hippie,’ and that same energy. It might take a while, but I’m still working on it.”
The new album is nothing like “Amazon Hippie.” In fact, it has an even drearier sound than Thompson’s earlier work. The guitars, drum machines, other instruments and vocals are all bathed in reverb and other oddball effects. Struggling with a label for the music, he’s currently running with something a friend suggested: Ocean-Grunge.
To enter this head space, Thompson likes to work alone, which creates a very solitary ambiance in his songs.
“If you’re working with a producer or engineer, you want to be polite, not rush their process. If you’re alone, everything is in your hands. I find it easier,” Thompson says.
With all these releases, Thompson is reluctant to say that he’s released an album yet. He’s waiting, still experimenting and developing, and he hopes to come out on the scene with a debut record for the world. He hopes, like his character, that people will just get where he’s coming from.
“That’s all I want to do with my music, is trying to find common ground with other people,” Thompson says.