Skip to main content

"My Name is Safe in Your Mouth" - A Word With Liela Moss

Liela Moss's debut album as a solo artist is atmosphere, dark in places, and ultimately hypnotic. There's a quiet ferocity to "My Name is Safe in Your Mouth;" unlike the more unhinged and raw sounds of her band The Duke Spirit, this feels a bit like a more pensive, thoughtful comedown.

I got the chance to ask Liela a few questions via email about her new album, her inspirations, possible touring, and sleep. The below is our conversation. 




What inspired you to go the solo route? What was the watershed moment that helped you make that decision?  

I can't say there was a watershed moment; I just didn't want to write atop drums and two guitars for a while. And I didn't want to talk about songs and songwriting. When you are in a band and there is a bit of too-ing and fro-ing naturally in conversation about the emerging songs. And that is funny and tricky and good. But this time around, I felt it would be interesting to internalize ideas and then just work in (almost) silence! A 'banter-free' environment would be a good thing to try. 

 If you had to describe your album "My Name is Safe in Your Mouth" in one phrase, what would you choose? 

Some songs about giant feelings, set in enormous spaces, distilled down into a potent tincture.

I've read reviews of your album that compared your sound to artists like Nick Cave. What would you say were inspirations for you? What influenced you in the making of the album?

Certainly there were iconic artists in mind, inspiring a kind of 'tone.' I was thinking about Emmylou Harris's album "Wrecking Ball," but also the prowling pace of songs on "Mezzanine"-era Massive Attack. I admire Nick Cave and love the drones that Warren Ellis makes. I did think about that. I was also obsessed with a Ralph Vaughn Williams piece called "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," which begins with such a melancholy mode but progresses toward something euphoric. An unusual classical track that was written by someone 100 years ago who was certainly a turn-of-the-century modern, but with folky ideals. 
What would your ideal listening experience be for your audience? How would you imagine them interpreting the album?

Ideally, the audience would cram into my kitchen whilst I sang and made some food for my 1-year-old kid. Because I don't have much time to do anything at the moment, so combining activities is a good idea. And the acoustics of the kitchen are most tantalising!* But better than that, I think a sunset festival show in summer would be perfect. Fresh air, dimming light, and the gloriousness that would inspire. 

What is your ideal musical trajectory after this piece? What would you like to explore next as an artist?

I'd like to explore sleep as a subject. For reals.

What are your "desert island" albums? 

Aretha Franklin, "Spirit in the Dark"
Sly & the Family Stone, "Fresh"
Bjork, "Homogenic"
The Velvet Underground, "Loaded"
Atoms for Peace, "Amok"
Queens of the Stone Age, "Songs for the Deaf" 
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "The Boatman's Call,"
The Clash, "London Calling"
Alice Coltrane, "Universal Consciousness"

Here's the arrangement that inspired Liela by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It really is beautiful and worth a listen, even if you don't normally enjoy classical:


Listen to "My Name is Safe in Your Mouth" if you haven't already. It's a humble masterpiece of an album. 

*I like that spelling better. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Anchors" - AM Higgins

Here's a nice breezy, almost sensual song from AM Higgins (the solo project of musician Annie Toth) to start your Tuesday off right.  Her debut album "Hymning" will be out November 5th on Victorialand Records. The album was mixed by Casey Foubert, a frequent collaborator of Sufjan Stevens. The album "captures the first years of moving from an American city to rural France." Sounds like "Hymning" will be a welcome escape from the world we live in right now, especially considering that Annie Toth counts poets Mary Oliver and Thomas Merton as influences.

"Happy New Year"- Let's Eat Grandma

There's no way to start the New Year like some extremely upbeat music about the New Year! That's where this new synthpop-heavy single from the British duo Let's Eat Grandma comes into play. It's a delightful song, and it helps increase any excitement about their third album, "Two Ribbons," which will be out this April. I personally am looking forward to hearing more from Let's Eat Grandma, who deserve way more attention than they currently get. Hopefully, 2022 will be a big year for them. Here's one of their older tracks I quite like:

3 New Lana Songs Come Out From Upcoming Album "Blue Banisters"

Not even that far off from "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" being released this past March, Lana Del Rey dropped three new singles off her upcoming project, "Blue Banisters." They include the title track, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire." All three songs seem to merge the worlds of "COCC" with "Norman Fucking Rockwell," specifically Lana's mouthful of a track "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It." They also seem uncharacteristically more confessional than most of Lana's catalog to date, specifically "Wildflower Wildfire," which alludes to a conflict with her mother. She even starts the track with "Here's the deal," readying to show more of her backstory than she ever has in her decade-plus-long career. The three songs are gorgeous - especially "Text Book," which has a haunting quality to it (she mentions "Black Lives Matter" i