Close to the Flame is the emotionally revelatory sophomore EP from vocalist June Moon, a Montréal-based artist who makes pop music as Forever. Released three years after her self-titled debut, Moon’s latest album is a collection of songs that honors the possibilities of self-love in the wake of a transformative heartbreak.
Close to the Flame is a love letter to, and by, darlings of the Montréal music scene: threaded throughout are the airy, playful ‘80s synths of TOPS’ David Carierre; the glittering, disco-tinged deep house of producer Patrick Holland; and the percussive self-assuredness of DJ Ouri. At the forefront of these genre-spanning Easter eggs is Moon’s ghostly falsetto, which claims center stage. “There’s only eyes in your head,” she teases on opening track “Burn,” over an R&B beat supported by silvery harp plucks. On “Make It Happen,” Toronto rapper Just John’s ultra-smooth rhymes are enveloped within Moon’s chorus: “I can move on, it’s time for real change,” she sings before the beat kicks back in. On the sensuous closer “Adonis,” lush, downtempo beats melt into twinkling strings as Moon’s breathy harmonies relay a sense of vulnerability.
As its title suggests, the album evokes the desire to seek the light at the end of a tunnel, regardless of the burn that might await. Close to the Flame will captivate listeners toward the flickering force it conjures—for, well, forever.