Walk the Moon will play Made in America

Walk the Moon is part of this weekend's Made in America lineup.  Credit: RCA Records
Walk the Moon is part of this weekend’s Made in America lineup.
Credit: RCA Records

Tell Kevin Ray, bassist for the neo-New Wave band Walk the Moon, that he has an awkward face and he’ll take it in stride.

After all, there’s a Tumblr page dedicated to the awkward faces he makes onstage.

“It’s not something I aspired to as a kid but now that it’s happening, I’m aspiring to it everyday,” Ray says. “There’s actually one on my hair, too, and [band guitarist Eli Maiman’s] beard has one.”

The awkward face fun is part of the spirit of the band — non-pretentious, energetic and upbeat. It’ll be on display Saturday on the Parkway as part of the second Made in American Festival.

Walk the Moon, formed in Cincinnati in 2008, broke through with their 2011 infectious rocker “Anna Sun.”

“Organic is the perfect word for it,” says Ray of the band’s sound. “We have a lot of influences from eras of music that relied heavily on great musicianship and the sound of a band. … Going into our self-titled album (2012’s ‘Walk the Moon’ on RCA Records), a major part of our focus was trying to recreate that organic type of feel and that’s what actually ended up happening. We recorded a lot of it in a room together and that’s why you have that type of energy.”

The energy should mix in well with the diverse sounds of this year’s Made in America. There’s everything from the flashy and funny hip-hop of 2 Chainz to the industrial flashback of Nine Inch Nails to the earnest rock sounds of new hitmakers Imagine Dragons to the club music of Calvin Harris.

The fest is curated by Jay Z.

“I’m aware of the line up last year and this year it’s gotten even more crazy, from us to Beyonce — it’s really all over the place,” Ray says. “It seems like a good lineup for music fans in general, who just like to go see great music.”

And a good lineup for awkward faces, too. Beyonce, who also performs Saturday, famously flashed a few awkward faces of her own during her performance at the last Super Bowl.

“[Beyonce] should just embrace it,” Ray says. “Not only are they faces but they’re providing the Internet with tons of enjoyment.”


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