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Music / Walk the Moon

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From left to right: Sean, Nick, Kevin, Eli
"Oh don't you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me,"
I said, "You're holding back", she said, "Shut up and dance with me!"
This woman is my destiny,
She said, "Ooh-ooh-hoo, shut up and dance with me!"
— "Shut Up and Dance"

Walk the Moon (stylized as WALK THE MOON) is an American Alternative Rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio. Their current lineup is Nicholas Petricca (lead vocals and keyboard), Sean Waugaman (drums), and Eli Maiman (guitar). Formed in 2006, they had underground success in their early career, with their self-released album I Want! I Want and its song "Anna Sun" helping earn them a record deal with RCA Records. After mostly reissuing their first album for their major-label debut Self-Titled Album, the uptempo rock anthem "Shut Up and Dance" off their second album Talking Is Hard broke them into the mainstream in 2014, propelling the single and the accompanying album to #4 on the Billboard charts.

Their third album, What If Nothing, was released on November 10, 2017, after a year-long hiatus from touring. Bassist Kevin Ray was dismissed from the band at the end of 2020, leaving Walk the Moon a trio. Their fourth album, Heights, was released in 2021. In 2023, the band announced that they will be entering an indefinite hiatus, but not before releasing more music.

Album Discography:

  • I Want! I Want! (2010)
  • Walk The Moon (2012)Singles 
  • Talking Is Hard (2014)Singles 
  • What If Nothing (2017)Singles 
  • Heights (2021)Singles 

Walk the Tropes:

  • The '80s: Much of the band's general sound and aesthetic (especially from Talking Is Hard) have a very Eighties throwback vibe in general. The entirety of the "Shut Up and Dance" video is a homage to/Affectionate Parody of Eighties music video tropes including cheesy computer graphics and bad eighties fashions. Likewise, the band's costumes and performance area for the "Work This Body" video are an homage to Eighties kids' cartoons and graphic design.
  • Anti-Love Song:
    • A pretty optimistic one in "Portugal", which is about moving on from a relationship that's faded and finding out that you're strong all by yourself.
    • "Surrender".
      So send me back a thousand days
      To that first night at your old place
      And tell me how it ends
      I'd do it all again
      For one more minute one more night...
      If all that I could ever be
      If all that I could ever be was the best ex-lover of your life
  • Amicable Exes: The singer of "Surrender" hopes this for his relationship.
  • Determinator: The singer of "Giants" knows the difficulties ahead for them and their partner, but thinks they can take it all on so long as they stick together.
  • Fiery Redhead: The singer's love interest in the "Shut Up And Dance" video (played by professional dancer Lauren Taft).
  • Genki Guy: The main character of "Work This Body" comes across as one, with his clear exuberance for life.
  • Gratuitous French: There are several inexplicably French lines in mostly English "Work This Body".
    "Que ferais-tu?
    Putain, je ne sais pas!
    Ne vien pas pleurer vers moi…"
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: "Shut Up and Dance" is a rather heartwarming song about a guy who meets the girl of his dreams in a dance club when she approaches him and asks him to dance. She's out of his league. He knows she's out of his league, and he is absolutely confused as to why someone as wonderful as she would even look at a scrub like him. When he asks, she's irritated at the question, responding, "Shut up and dance with me." The video makes this even more obvious than the lyrics do.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Shiver Shiver" is about the singer describing a somewhat kinky sexual relationship with a person named Owley.
    • "Jenny" is an address from the narrator to the woman he's having sex with.
    • "Come Under the Covers":
      In the low light, two white shadows become one.
      Come on, put your moon in my sun
      And set me on fire... set me on fire...
      (Summer is over) And I wanna leave you satisfied
      (Summer is over) And I can feel the cold changing us inside
      (Come under the covers) Cause I wanna leave you satisfied tonight.
  • Just Friends:
    • "Sidekick" is about two friends who realize their feelings for each other when they're about to part after seeing a movie together.
  • Little Black Dress: "Shut Up And Dance" has the girl in a backless little black dress teamed with some beat up red Converse sneakers.
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: "I'm Good" is a song about the end of a bad relationship, and although the narrator has every right to rake the other person over the coals for their treatment, they decide to be the bigger individual and wish them well. There could also be some Reality Subtext in the lyrics due to Kevin Ray's departure.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Lisa Baby", "Quesadilla", and "Lions"note .
  • The Oner: Nearly three minutes of the video for "Anna Sun" is done in one shot.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In the video for "Shut Up and Dance", the music comes to a halt right before the final chorus. It starts up again and continues as normal once the female lead comes in and hits Nick's shirt a few times and it goes static like trying to fix a broken TV.
  • Reincarnation Romance: "Avalanche" is about the singer looking into a stranger's eyes and suddenly realizing he was in love with them in a previous life.
    "You got a look in your eyes
    I knew you in a past life"
  • Re-release the Song / Updated Re-release: The Self-Titled Album contains six songs off of I Want! I Want!.note 
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: A theme in "Up 2 U"- "kings bow down to the dollar sign" and all that it entails.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their second album, named as such because it was essentially an Updated Re-release of their first album and meant to serve as their introduction to a mainstream audience.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The band is named after The Police's song "Walking on the Moon".
    • "Shut Up and Dance" has a sequence where the other three members of the band re-enact the iconic "boombox over the head" sequence from Say Anything....
    • "Down In The Dumps" has one to fellow band Fitz And The Tantrums, who they toured with.
  • Silly Love Songs:
    • "Candycane Jane" is about the singer describing his deep love for the titular Candycane Jane, who he's waiting to arrive.
    • "Entropy" is about the singer telling the person he loves that no matter how bad things gets they'll have each other, and that their love is what's keeping him going.
    • "Lisa Baby" is the singer complimenting the titular Lisa, saying that her beauty is leaving him breathless.
    • "Next In Line" is about the singer and the person he's in love with running away with each other and vowing the stay together for the rest of their lives.
    • "Avalanche" is about a Reincarnation Romance, with the singer making eye contact with someone and abruptly realizing that they were in love in a past life, and that he's still in love with them.
    • "Come Under The Covers" is the singer marveling over the close relationship he has with the person he's singing the song to.
    • "Sidekick" is a song about the singer and the person he's in love with realizing their feelings for each other and finding to courage to get together, even though they're afraid of it breaking their friendship.
    • "Timebomb" is about someone who is afraid of getting hurt again but can't help falling in love.
  • We Used to Be Friends: "Iscariot", appropriately enough. The lyrics are ambiguous enough that the song could indeed be referring to the Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to his death, or could be about someone comparing their betrayal to his.
    "Until now, I knew this of myself:
    That if you had thrown yourself down into the lion's den
    My brother, I'd follow you in."
  • Workaholic: "Work This Body" is very energetic song about a self-admitted one, who is obsessed with becoming successful.
    "Yeah I'm a workaholic, and I swear, I swear
    That one day I will beat you fair and square!"
  • You Are Worth Hell:
    • The main theme of "Entropy" is that things might be awful, but the singer is happy to endure that if it means being with the one he's singing to.
      "And even if we're lost, we'll be together."
    • Petricca has stated the entire What If Nothing album is about realizing that the future is uncertain and certainly full of difficulties, but willing to step through and move forward anyways.


Video Example(s):


Sonic X - Shut Up and Dance

A fanvid by Cream Freak which uses clips of Sonic X in which it presents the characters singing and acting out the song. This used to be a popular trend back in the 2000s and early 2010s days.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Fanvid

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