Release Date: Oct 23, 2015
Record label: Rhino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
“Everything in love kills you,” quivers Denai Moore on Piano Song, Elsewhere’s soulful opener, setting the tone for a debut album soaked in sadness. Produced by Rodaidh McDonald (the xx, Savages), with additional work by Ben Drew (AKA Plan B), Moore’s intricate, slow-burn tales of fractured relationships are encased in sonically adventurous surroundings; the spacious electronic pulse that frames Absent, No Light’s woozy horns, the click-clack beat beneath the title track’s fragile folk. This variety isn’t always matched by Moore’s melancholic vocal, however, which eventually starts to feel a little too mannered, leaving you longing for some fire with the fragility.
Last autumn, anyone who went to see SBTRKT might have been surprised to see an artist like Denai Moore support him. Her songs hover frequently around the mid-tempo range and they barely reach hands-in-the-air levels of euphoria. However, her performances received rave reviews from those who arrived early. Since then, the anticipation for a full-length LP has grown.
Soulful singer-songwriter Denai Moore is the archetypal millennial music magpie. The songs on her past two EPs shifted from one genre to another, and on this debut album she sometimes switches tack mid-track, pulling from elements of folk, indie and R&B. Her thickly textured voice anchors what might otherwise feel like a scattered collection of morose songs exploring insecurity, loss and a loosely nebulous sense of yearning.
For a lover of female vocal-led music and songs about heartbreak, Denai Moore’s debut album Elsewhere sure is satisfying to the ear; the ideal Sunday chill out soundtrack for summer afternoons that I’m sure will be gracing us with their presence very shortly (if we all pray… a lot). Having collaborated with the likes of MNEK and SBTRKT, the Jamaican born, East London singer-songwriter’s unique soulful vocals are in high demand already, and Elsewhere is a fine showcase of her startling voice. Since releasing the EP Flaws in 2012, which first brought me to discover Moore, she’s gone through a transition in her sound from folk towards a more soulful electronic vibe, resulting in this entrancing album.