Bradley Simpson – Cry At The Moon

The frontman of The Vamps steps out for his raucous solo debut

And with that, another member of The Vamps has released original music. Following Connor Ball’s pop-punk geared LUNARS project with Cheat Codes’ Sasa Macek and James McVey’s solo singer-songwriter effort, it’s now lead singer Bradley’s turn. His debut solo single “Cry At The Moon” is out now.

From the opening notes of this tune, a bluesy acoustic guitar pattern, Simpson’s direction is clear. He, like another British boyband frontman, went straight for a psychedelic rock feel, which perfectly caters to his rich, seasoned vocal tone. Emulating the attitude and sensuality of a Wolfmother or ZZ Top, Simpson allows his voice to slink and crackle its way through, even in its most aggressive moments, from the very start: “Couple stone-cold killers… I got behind those eyesssss/ That’s where I’m always gonna see ya/ That’s where time goes to dieeeeee.”

He isn’t overembellishing his vocals, though he could easily do so. He sings like a thief in the night, careful and calculated. Intrigued and infatuated he may be, but he sits back in the pocket and allows the rush of heavy guitars and bass lines to sell the weight of his desire.

In a message via email newsletter, Simpson confirmed his musical intentions: “I knew I wanted to draw on influences I’d grown up on, so we spent the first two hours sitting on the balcony listening through bands we love. There was a lot of Queens of the Stone Age and The Raconteurs being listened to.” Once that sound came into the picture, the writing took shape, and it was time to play.

“Cry At The Moon” effectively does the job that a song like “Kiwi,” which is more of a cult classic with the fandom than an actual hit, did for that other boyband frontman. While it takes about 15 seconds too long to really take off, it sends the message that he’s not playing it safe. It’s about temptation… about submitting to these feelings of lust, of hyper-fixation, but doesn’t go over the edge. It’s just gritty enough… just gravelly enough for his audience to differentiate his sound from that of what they’re familiar with in the context of his band: “Now I cry at the moon/ She don’t shine quite like you/ I’m all wrapped up in chains/ And I wonder what I do.”  

In a way, he had to go this route. He can sell it. He can sell almost anything, really. Do you want pure pop? Watch him run around the stage with boundless energy while pumping out “Wild Heart.” You want him to sit at the piano and sing a power ballad? Watch him do that on “Missing You.” You want adult material now that he has a chance to stretch his legs on his own? You’ve got “Cry At The Moon.”

The music video for the track, included above, accentuates the mystique of the tune. Trippy, drenched in shadow, and theatrical, Simpson has provided a more than satisfactory accompanying visual.

Stream “Cry At The Moon”: