ANNOUNCES SOPHOMORE ALBUM
‘WE USED TO BLOOM’
VIA BECAUSE MUSIC ON 16 JUNE 2017
UNVEILS NEW SINGLE ‘DOES IT GET EASIER’
23-year-old Jamaican born, London raised artist Denai Moore announces her highly anticipated sophomore album We Used To Bloom. Produced by Steph Marziano, the album will be released via Because Music on 16th June.Denai also unveils her second single Does It Get Easier? an elegant blend of toughness and soulfulness which was premiered on Huw Stephen’s BBC Radio 1 show last night and Complex UK today.
Denai says of the track: Does It Get Easier was probably the most rewarding song to finish for this album. This song was originally a guitar lead song, which never really worked. Playing guitar is my real comfort-zone and I knew I needed to push myself past my comfort-zone, so I took the original guitar riff out of the song. Suddenly everything felt so much more exciting, and ironically easier to progress. Lyrically this song means a lot to me, I am at times always my worst critic but I’ve realised how important it is to make peace with the “not knowing” element of life and really focus on what makes me excited and how to nurture that excitement. That is what this song is about, there are things that will always be out of my control, and it’s a beautiful thing!
Speaking of the album, Moore says: “I think I’m a better version of myself now that I’ve made this record”. She expands; “It would’ve been so much easier if I’d just done a really simple album. But there’s no point to me in making anything if you’re not trying to become a better version of yourself by the end of it.”
Moore was only a teenager when her music career began — plucked from an early open mic night, the exquisite shape and timbre of her voice met immediate adoration: her first single, Blame, played across Radio 1, 2 and 6Music, and her debut EP brought a stunning appearance on Jools Holland. Her peers were desperate to collaborate. Her debut album, Elsewhere, was rapturously acclaimed.
The last couple of years have provided an intense and sometimes painful period of growth for Moore — an experience that she documents now with unflinching openness on We Used to Bloom. These 10 songs reveal a young woman figuring out the world and her place in it, while also charting Moore’s evolving relationship with herself — with self-esteem, self-image and the crippling anxiety she once suffered and is now challenging head on through her songwriting.
“There are a lot of fears I’ve got over, about making music and how I feel about myself,” she says. This process seeps through into these songs: from a sumptuous cover of Elliott Smith’s Twilight to her own track Trickle, in which she deals with the aforementioned anxiety.
But she sings too of the triumph of this experience. On the sublime album opener Let It Happen she’s revelling in “a celebration of myself, a self-love anthem.”
What is particularly notable about Moore’s music — in her early EPs and collaborations, on Elsewhere, and now in We Used to Bloom – is how it defies genre. There are R’n’B influences, certainly, but alongside them stand a love for folk and soul, for Bon Iver, Feist and Solange, for Sufjan Stevens’s The Age of Adz into the “richness” of Beyonce’s Lemonade, for the fact that “Kanye never made the same record twice”, for the way that St Vincent “really reinvented the idea of being a lead guitarist.” And there too is the girl who learned to play keys alongside her session musician father, the girl who took up guitar and sang at a young age, who spent her childhood in Jamaica listening to the gospel music of the local churches. “And melodically that still influences me,” she says. “It’s a very resonant music. It stays.” And so to bracket Moore with any one particular scene seems naive —such defiance of genre is crucial for a flourishing British music community.
Do They Care, one of the album’s gems, is a song that takes the temperature of the times, “It’s about everything that’s happening right now in the world and how much it was affecting me,” she recalls. “It’s such a weird moment — we hear about things in such a rapid space of time, and we’re made to deal with all these events and tragedies and injustices and suffering and then almost having to move on to the next one.”
The album title, she says, is a nod to the feeling of self-growth. “I chose it because I felt like I’m in the growing aspect of my life,” she explains. “There’s something about blossoming and blooming that I associate with being younger, but now I’m older and I’m really coming to understand myself as a person. We used to bloom; now we grow.”
Denai has been working with In Bloom, an all-female collective made up of photographers, artists, directors and more on the creative for the new album. Mahaneela Choudry Reid from the collective has directed the forthcoming video for single Does It Get Easier.
Denai will be performing at this year’s The Great Escape festival on Thursday 18th May at 3.30pm at The Marine Room – Harbour Hotel.