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AKOYI – “Moonlight/Downtown”

Want to hear a duo of fingerpicked acoustic guitar with French horn in the Mixolydian mode?

Want to hear a duo of fingerpicked acoustic guitar with French horn in the Mixolydian mode? What if I also told you it was lo-fi chamber pop? I didn’t think of it, but Edmonton-based AKOYI did with her single “Moonlight/Downtown” (stylized in all caps):

Listen to AKOYI

I know it doesn’t have strings, but there’s an Eleanor Rigby mood about this song. Chaotic chamber pop.

Akoyi identifies in her social bios as “just a girl and her guitar”. But doesn’t that undersell the chaos, which turns into beauty for those curious?

Here’s how Akoyi describes this track with hornist Taran Plamondon, and its place in a bigger collection of songs to come called 12710:

12710 is a project which I accidentally started in Edmonton, but really dove into in Vancouver; with MOONLIGHT/DOWNTOWN being one of the songs that I began and finished in Vancouver. It’s an experimental track for myself that holds a feeling of ennui that is tied to the end of summer for me. The instrumental is led by acoustic guitar, along with help from the French Horn; working together to really drive home the premonition of despair.”

– AKOYI

So, beyond just Edmonton, Akoyi finds herself in Vancouver too. About a minute into the track, she drops some nice, soft C and G chords. We’re moving, and moving again to a more bluesy place. That’s the “Downtown”.

I told you at the beginning that it was Mixolydian — no longer. So, don’t even worry if that word means nothing to you.

I don’t know what it is, harmonically, but the overdubbed horns are just as eerie as the “Moonlight” background vocals with the wide vibrato.

The horn slides out of the song on a descending bit of blues scale.

What was this? Something interesting, Akoyi. Thanks!


Choose your streaming platform here and listen to “Moonlight/Downtown” by Akoyi.

By Will Chernoff

William Ross Chernoff—known as Will to friends and colleagues—is a jazz musician, podcaster, YouTuber, and writer. He records and performs under his own name, William Chernoff.