Having collaborated with the likes of SBTRKT and Kwes, toured with Kindness, as well as running her own vegan Jamaican supper club ‘Dee’s Table’ and crafting sublimely intricate, cascading electronica Denai Moore is a truly multi-talented and singular creative force. With her new album dropping in July, we caught up with Moore to talk five tracks that have influenced her.
Earlier this month she released the silken, melancholic ‘Cascades’ that sees Moore encapsulate that feeling of being caught up in all-encompassing waves of sadness, and fully open up the anxieties of existence in a tumultuous world that shape Modern Dread. With her spellbinding, raw vocals and unique blend of pared-down, dusky R&B, offbeat electronica and poignant lyricism Moore is an undeniably remarkable, and iconic, talent.
The track is accompanied by a sublimely surreal and aesthetically on-point video that feels somewhere between a trippy, sci-fi nightmare and Tim Walker shoot. Speaking on this Moore details, “I really wanted the Cascades video to translate like a surreal weird dream. The song is about feeling visceral sadness and being too caught up in your own headspace”. Adding to this Samuel Douek, who directed the video, expresses, “With Cascades, we follow Denai as she descends into deeper levels of her subconscious. She is both trying to lose herself in this bizarre world and looking to find herself by uncovering her own face (or mask) which ultimately frees her from her mind”.
Get to know Denai Moore In Five…
Lauryn Hill – Peace Of Mind
Lauryn Hill was one of the first artists that I really saw myself in as a young songwriter, I remember watching MTV unplugged when I was 12 years old and got my first guitar. I was so moved by her vulnerability in the session, her talking about the music industry and singing songs she literally just wrote. My quote in my yearbook in secondary school was from this unplugged session ‘The real you is better than the fake somebody else’ which made me feel validated to be myself in my own music when I first heard it at 12.
Radiohead – All I Need
Radiohead are my favourite band of all time. They are also so innovative, whilst still always sounding like themselves. Thom Yorke for me is such an inspiration in terms of his use of floating vocals and how he expresses himself.
Elliot Smith – Can’t Make A Sound
Elliot Smith is my favourite lyricist. I think he’s so massively overlooked as a songwriter. The first song I heard from him was ‘Twilight’ which I covered on my album We Used to Bloom. Melody is also what really stays with me, and he has written some of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard. I’d love to put together a tribute album/score for a film.
Feist – The Water
The Reminder was the first album I bought on iTunes the year it came out. I remember sending all my pocket money buying albums when I got my first laptop as a hand me down and listened to music for hours in my spare time. This song is my favourite Feist song, the guitar and the raw quality to her vocal performance is so special.
Kanye West – Blackskin Head
Yeezus is one of those albums I’ll never forget listening to for the first time. It’s unapologetic brass sonic world is timeless. Kanye is always innovating and I admire how he’s always making what he truly wants to make. This is a headspace I try to make music in – to remain authentic to myself and the world I’m in. Which could be a very stripped back record or a heavily produced sound.
‘Modern Dread’ is out July 3rd on Because Music. Pre-order here.