molly-moore

As we discussed some with her, the innate desire to create runs deep in Molly Moore. She grew up in a creative household in NY then set off for Los Angeles when the time was right. Cutting through the intensity of the city is no easy task, but Molly Moore is trending upwards, with the biggest moments yet to come. The first big step? Her new EP Now You See Me.

The EP is a precision work of progressive pop. It finds Moore flirting with different sounds – “Just a Dream” is smoky and soulful, while the following track, “Free Spirit,” is a jittery and rattling tale of how many institutions are designed to squelch out creativity while overmedicating youth. “Indigo” seems influenced by new wave and jazz equally, and “Violet Sky” is beautiful precision.

We figured the best way to explore the EP would be through the lens of the artist herself. Molly Moore was kind enough to take time out of her increasingly busy schedule (we didn’t even mention her side project Cosmos & Creature yet) to talk with us about her past, Now You See Me, and where she’s headed.

Getting into your background a little bit, you grew up in a musical family. Did anything particularly influence you towards the current sound path you’re on?

My parents raised me on the classics, and I feel pretty lucky to have been exposed to legendary artists as a young kid. My sister also loved a lot of alternative music that rubbed off on me as well. When I discovered artists like Lily Allen and John Mayer, the lyrics and uniquely crafted artistry inspired me. That’s where it started for me.

LA is, to put it mildly, densely populated with creative people. You obviously put in the skill and hard work to make things happen, but what’s it like navigate such an environment, especially one that’s known for being a bit cut throat?

It can be a wild journey, and you can get lost a bit. I think it’s important to always remember who you are and why you’re doing what you do. I’d found myself retreating a lot in Los Angeles and just creating on my own and with Brandyn (Burnette – often collaborator and producer).

I spent my first few years trying to collaborate as much as possible, but I started to feel like I’d lost my own voice, so it was important for me to take time away to develop on a personal level. I also think it’s important to grow your art on your own terms and to find the right partners that believe equally in your vision, but also push to you forward.

Last question about the past – any chance of those very early writings or recordings ever surfacing, even as a bonus track or something?

Yes! There are a few early ideas I definitely plan on finishing someday, when the time is absolutely right (laughs).

On to the EP – several tracks seem to exist at dusk, with a beautiful blend of warm glows and darker tones melting together. Is there an intentionality to this, or does it just so happen to be the way the production process goes?

It happened very organically that way. I didn’t want this record to be perfect; I just wanted it to feel like what I was going through when I wrote the songs. Brandyn also nailed the production so hats off to him.

“Just a Dream” dances around a few styles – a little bit of jazz club sounds, some alt-folk, and soul pop. What was the creation process like for that one?

I wrote the song with Eric Leva & Brandyn. The idea was incepted in a car (as most of my songs are), and I was lucky enough to finish it with their help. Brandyn produced the demo, and we went into the studio with live musicians. We basically gave them our vision of the direction and then said “Now record whatever comes out of your soul.” It was very special and liberating to have such talented musicians contribute on a spiritual level to my music.

With “Free Spirit,” the message seems to take on some serious issues like suppression of expression and creativity. Is there a particular story behind the track?

I was raised without any medicine or vaccines, so I guess growing up in America was strange for me. Everybody seems to take medicine in one form or another, and it can feel maddening when we also have so many other issues contributing that aren’t being addressed or solved, just diagnosed and covered.

I’m a bit of a holistic and naturalist, so this song was me expressing that. The world is filled with projected anxiety and fear right now, and as humans, it’s hard not to absorb that into your system. “Free Spirit” was a reminder to myself and anyone listening that we can be free of it all.

The various production and sounds you toy with on ‘Now You See Me’ show signs of an artist who’s not afraid to try something different. Do you ever get nervous during the process, because you seem pretty confident in these risks? If so, how do you handle any nerves?

I bask in having the freedom to create a sonic landscape that’s completely unique with my music… and knowing people that share that vision enough to actually bring it to life. I think it’s the only way to cultivate true artistry. That being said, I’ve been absolutely terrified every day up until my EP release. Now that it’s out I feel naked and free and happy and sad and scared and excited all at once.

One could argue that each track could be the standout, but there’s something to “Violet Sky” that takes it all to the next level for us. What went into that particular piece?

That piano line in Violet Sky is one of the only parts I’ve ever written on piano actually! I sat down at a friend’s piano in the middle of the craziest transition of my life. This melody just came through my fingers and the piano, I don’t know where it came from. Brandyn helped me to come up with the rest of the chords, and I freestyled the melodies in Woodstock when we were visiting about a year ago.

We finished the record six months later and had our friends play live elements on it. I’m so glad you connect with “Violet Sky;” it is one of my favorites too. It encapsulates my battle with escapism.

You also have the duo of Cosmos & Creature – how does that influence your solo work? Also, how do you find the balance of focus between the two projects?

I create too much to not have two projects I think (laughs). Cosmos & Creature is the up-beat, pop relief to my introspective, moodier solo project.

So you’ve got the EP being released, Cosmos & Creature, and other artist endeavors you’re involved with. What does 2016 going into 2017 look like for you? More writing? Touring?

Yes! All of the above. More shows, more writing, and we definitely plan to jump on our first tour to support the first EP release for Cosmos & Creature! Also look out for some visuals supporting Now You See Me.

Now You See Me is out and ready to be experienced on iTunes now. Check it out below, and then add it to your collection. Joey Smith