Moya. That’s her name and all she wishes to be known as. A solo singer with a soulful voice, a single word moniker and a penchant for black and white videos. It’s extremely easy to just pass her off as another young wannabee hoping to hang on the coat tails of Adele’s success. But perhaps there’s more to this starlet in training.
The song is a cover of a 1989 Primal Scream ballad, itself written at a time when they were finding their voice and shaking accusations of ripping off The Rolling Stones. It was a track that started out as intimate as the confession booth at a catholic church, but slowly added in layers of musical complexity and unfortunately became less interesting the more it put in.
Moya seems to have the opposite problem. The track is always raw, stripped back, simple yet elegant. The trouble is that it seems to only have one gear. It doesn’t go anywhere to the point where it becomes less of a story and more of a statement.
I also question the wisdom of leading you’re new EP with a cover. It seems a safe bet, presenting yourself to the public with the familiar hoping to ease them in. In this day and age such tactics are best left to X-Factor contestants. It makes it feel a little too karaoke, a bit cabaret. She’s being cautious when she needs to be brazen. First impressions in this business are important because they tell the audience if they need to bother paying attention, especially in an age where any idiot with a web cam is vying for your browser time. Moya needs to use this time to make a declaration about who she is and why we should care.
The video complements the modest nature of the track well. Filmed in B&W with only a couple of camera angles, it’s almost too simple. It does however serve a purpose. The fact that the camera never leaves her face as she sings into the microphone gives us an insight to the recording process. It shows her doing something most record labels do their utmost to hide. It shows her trying.
So often we are made to believe that world class recording artists could bang out an album in the time it takes to listen to one, that a top ten hit can be created with the kind of effort used to make a sandwich. The constant focus on the artist putting her heart and soul in to the track she is singing makes for a compelling video. To see the emotion on her face as she sings amplifies it and adds a layer of depth you may not have noticed before. Whether this was a creative choice or a limitation of budget matters little.
In all the track isn’t without its moments but Moya will have to give us some of her own stuff so we can truly see what she’s made of.