Review: Total Brutal’s Sun-Soaked “Had a Feeling” Is a Dazzling, Emotional Daydream

Total Brutal
Total Brutal
A sun-soaked West Coast daydream brought to life with intimate vocals, warbling guitars, and stacked harmonies, Total Brutal’s dazzling “Had a Feeling” is, much to her credit, totally brutal.
for fans of Tennis, Fleetwood Mac, Litany
Stream: “Had a Feeling” – Total Brutal




A sun-soaked West Coast daydream brought to life with intimate vocals, warbling guitars, and stacked harmonies, Total Brutal’s latest offering is, much to her credit, totally brutal.

Emily Moore stuns yet again with “Had a Feeling,” a dazzling indie pop daydream brought to life with buoyant melodies and warm, glowing sonics that enchant the ears and leave us wanting more.

Had a Feeling - Total Brutal
Had a Feeling – Total Brutal
Paint my nails and I will dream it
Cry my eyes out at the ceiling
Feel the way the world is leaning
I want to move my body to the beating
I don’t really want to leave tonight
want to wear my hair up high
Just sit back and watch the moon fall down
I want to take in all the sounds
Had a feeling
Had a feeling I was wrong
Now I see it
And I cannot turn it off
Should I sit around and waste my time
Hoping that the world aligns

Released April 23 via Honey Panda Records, “Had a Feeling” is Total Brutal’s first original release of 2021 and her fifth overall single since debuting last May, following last December’s festive “Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas” and her uplifting third single “Egypt,” which premiered on Atwood Magazine last November.

Total Brutal
Total Brutal
Total Brutal
Total Brutal

In covering Total Brutal at the time, Atwood’s Dimitra Gurduiala praised the artist for showing “great musical completeness and maturity“: “Both the chill debut single “Willow” and the psychedelic “Choosy Moms” have convinced more and more people to start listening to Total Brutal, and we are ready to bet that “Egypt” will be able to do the same. It’s a piece whose bass immediately takes over your heart, combined with a catchy refrain and one great message; Moore’s “little child” is out there, ready to fall in love with the future and conquer the world. And underneath it all, “Egypt” gets into your head so much that Moore manages to convince you to do the same.”

The indie pop solo artistry for seasoned singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Emily Moore, Total Brutal is a personal project years in the making. As a touring musician, Moore has already performed alongside such Grammy award-winning artists as Taylor Swift, fun., Dua Lipa, and many more – and she brings this professional wherewithal, albeit with a fun, quirky levity, to her own insatiably catchy, expertly-produced songs.


Self-described as “yacht rock meets Laurel Canyon,” “Had a Feeling” is a direct response to the disconnect and distance many of us have experienced firsthand due to COVID-19 related lockdowns and quarantines over the past year.

Should I sit around and waste my time hoping that the world aligns?” Moore sings pensively in the chorus, carrying out a massive overhaul of sound as she ruminates on the effects of isolation and loneliness. As her music washes listeners’ ears in waves of seductive guitar pop, Total Brutal expresses a relatable innate need for emotional and physical connection:

Close my eyes and let it sink in
Caught me staring down my demon
I bet you felt like you were free then
Come on, man, you’re only dreaming
I don’t really want to leave tonight
I want to quit, I fold my hand
Just sit back and watch the moon fall down
The only thing I understand

“I wrote “Had A Feeling” in response to the big and unfamiliar emotions I experienced in 2020,” Moore tells Atwood Magazine. “The world around me felt unsure and every minute brought on a new and seemingly unmanageable feeling. I was having a hard time figuring out what was important to me and an even harder time standing up for it. Writing “Had a Feeling” helped me sort through the mess in my head and regain my confidence.”

Had a feeling
Had a feeling I was wrong
Now I see it
And I cannot turn it off
Should I sit around and waste my time
Hoping that the world aligns
Should I move my mouth and lose my mind
Waiting for the world to find some feeling
As Total Brutal, Emily Moore brings a professional wherewithal, albeit with a fun, quirky levity, to her own insatiably catchy, expertly-produced songs.
As Total Brutal, Emily Moore brings a professional wherewithal, albeit with a fun, quirky levity, to her own insatiably catchy, expertly-produced songs.

Yearning and longing find a welcome home in “Had a Feeling” as Total Brutal immerses herself and her audience in these intimate, immediate, and so deeply palatable emotions. Her wistful tapestry recalls that of fellow contemporary indie pop acts Tennis and Litany – a heavy dash of R&B influence mixed with strong, driving beats and soaring, groovy choruses – and yet, Emily Moore seems to all-too effortlessly be making these songs her own. Whatever the “Total Brutal” aesthetic turns out to be, it has already stood out from the noise as one full of soul, charisma, and feeling.

Whether you’re looking to dwell in your emotional depths or relax under a hot summer sun, “Had a Feeling” is a welcome and instantly memorable singalong.

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:: stream/purchase Total Brutal here ::
Stream: “Had a Feeling” – Total Brutal



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Had a Feeling - Total Brutal

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