“Still think I'm your perfect little dream?” Emma Moore challenges, like the misunderstood girl-next-door who the neighbouring boy fantasises over but doesn't have the courage to speak to. While 'Match Made In Hell' may at first seem like a sassy provocation of lovers that dream of settling down, in reality, it's a liberating rally against assumption and control; Moore the advocate for living your own life in a way only you can say how.
Such a song comes to embody the strong-willed determination of the Blackpool, UK native's songwriting. She's naturally funny, grounded and not afraid to stand up for herself - whether it be in the face of deceitful lovers, overbearing patriarchs or anyone who believes they can mold her for their own advantage.
Such external life expectations and pressures fuel Moore's new EP the table, a five-song collection of biting rebukes and tender bruises that come to encompass who Moore is - a 20-something trying to find their place in the world, driven rather than drowned by those that have wronged her.
Moore isn't afraid to channel her anxieties into both knotty ballads or bold and brazen affirmations. Each song glides within sparse atmospheres - seamlessly venturing from raw frustration to tender closure with ease. It ensures her forthright lyricism hits as hard as it intends to, every jab and sorrowful tear knowingly lingers. "You make yourself half so you can make him whole / it drives me crazy how you just don't know", Moore notions through the rising intensity of 'Blinded', exasperated at how the wool's been pulled over the eyes of someone close.
Moore realises how the power of her words can really drive a song, and how honesty and wit can offer a vehicle towards building yourself up once again. Whether you're carrying someone you love who takes you for granted, battling with what others expect of you or are overwhelmed by your own concerns, Moore's music gives you the assurance that you are in the driving seat of your own life, despite what others might say.
To celebrate the release of the table, Moore has shared some candid thoughts and insights from behind the scenes of the making of the EP. In revealing her inspirations and the intricate details of the creative process, she presents herself as a patient perfectionist - each part of her artistry considered and carefully developed. Delve in here.
Alongside this, Moore discusses how much songwriting and singing truly drive her, how she was once an Adele tribute act and how choosing between Brandi Carlile or Ashley McBryde would be like choosing your favourite child.
Where are you from and has that influenced the type of artist you are?
I’m from Blackpool in the UK, which is definitely more known for its Cabaret scene than original bands/music, but it’s been an interesting place to people watch. It’s often called “The Vegas of the North” so that will give your US readers an idea of its reputation. I guess my British upbringing brings out the sarcasm in my writing, but I’ve loved American music for as long as I can remember, and it’s those voices and stories I grew up listening to.
Speaking of influences, what were you listening to growing up?
I was always into Musicals, I saw absolutely nothing strange about people bursting into song and dance to express themselves, and then whatever CMT or my mum was playing. Shania Twain, Lorrie Morgan and The Chicks were the ones on repeat the most, occasionally broken up by The Spice Girls (I’m a true 90’s baby!) or some of the power ballad singers like Whitney Houston or Celine Dion.
Did you ever want to do something other than music?
For a brief time as a child I wanted to work in a Nursery, although looking back that was probably because I thought all they did was play, paint and sing! I’ve always wanted to sing, it just took a while for me to find my lane. I wanted to work in Musical Theatre (but I’m a terrible dancer) and then I started performing cover sets and also, for a short time, as an Adele Tribute. I’m still a big Adele fan, but spending all that time and energy trying to be someone else never sat right with me. Eventually, at around 24, I started writing songs - I fell in love with it instantly. Singing other peoples songs was almost entirely ruined for me for quite a while then - I threw myself into writing and eventually becoming an artist.
Are you more creative when you’re happy or when you’re sad?
Usually when I’m happy! If I’m too down, or too in my head, I struggle to write at that time. What I usually do is scribble down endless streams of consciousness in a complete mess, and go back to it when I feel like I can use it. Sometimes if your heart is a little too involved, it messes up your head and your perception of what’s good for the song. When I’m happy, I have boundless energy and the ideas come quicker than I can write them down, even if they’re some of the saddest and most gut-wrenching of songs.
What drives you the most?
I absolutely love songwriting, even when nobody hears that final product, and I love to sing, whether there’s a crowd or I’m home alone - and I just want to spend my life doing what I love. I’m also haunted by an image that floats around social media that shows someone almost reaching their goal and then turning back and missing out at the last second. I never want to be that person. It can feel like the loneliest, toughest and most insane decision, to try and become an independent artist, but then you step on a stage and hear people singing your words back to you and waiting to meet you and you wonder why you ever doubted it.
In general which comes first for you, the title or the song?
I’m a bit of a mixed bag here! I keep a list of titles and themes for songs, and sometimes that’s all you need to start. Other times, songs and stories just pour out and I have no idea what its title should be. With ‘the table’, I have both. 'Husbands or Kids', 'Late To The Table' and 'Match Made in Hell' were written title first, while 'Blinded', 'Waiting For You' and 'When' were all songs first.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Oh wow, who wouldn't be? I’d love to sing with Vince Gill, Brandi Carlile or The Chicks, and write with Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde or Brandy Clark. There are so many people I could list here though, and even narrowing it down to those felt like choosing a favourite kid.
All I can think about right now is playing live, and playing a lot! I can honestly say I put everything into the table, so I really want to enjoy sharing it and touring it. (Though I guarantee in a week or less I'll have another project brewing!)