I met with the charmingly humble Marlaena Moore, an extremely talented young folk artist, to discuss her upcoming album, Beginner. Moore is a unique talent. She experiments with her vocals, including pitch, range, volume and how her songs are punctuated while strumming on the guitar. Her vocals are crystal clear, soothing and will resonate with you in both meanings of the word.
Making music has always been a part of 20-year-old Moore’s life and comes to her instinctually. “I started writing songs fairly young. I really got into writing songs at nine years old and got serious by age 13. I took it actually very seriously a few years ago.”
“How young were you when you started singing?” I ask.
“It is funny. I was over at my parents’ place recently and my dad had some videos of me when I was a toddler singing and stuff. So, it has always been a part of my life somehow, before I could even remember.”
Her natural talent, combined with the music she has had on rotation over the years has brought Moore to where she is today. She recalls listening to the entire Beatles anthology at age 14. More recently, Moore has turned to Patti Smith for inspiration.
Moore has an appreciation for local bands as well: “The show that I’m doing on the 8th, I’ve been telling everyone that it is my dream bill. Those are my top Edmonton bands. I love DIAMOND MIND, Smokey, and Field and Stream (who is probably my favourite local band). Nolan Bossert and the Strugglefucks also are amazing. I would say the one that got me more into local music was definitely Jessica Jalbert. Just hearing her stuff and being blown away by it.”
I ask Moore about her song-writing process and she notes that it often changes: “I sometimes get stuck in little bouts where I am always thinking in terms of song writing and turn my thoughts into a line of some kind. It will be when I’m at work. There is a receipt machine and I will just print a little bit of paper and write things down and put it in my pocket. I will come home and have all these little bits of paper everywhere.” She gets inspiration from many sources, including a dictionary. “I bought a dictionary that I’m reading right now. I’m trying to learn and get inspired from that.”
Beginner will mark Moore’s first official release. The title of the album also serves as the theme of the subject matter of many of the songs as well. “All of the songs that are on it I wrote when I was really young and touch topics of growing up and such.”
On the album, and for her upcoming CD release at Wunderbar, a backing band accompanies her: Blair Drover (lead guitar), Laine Cherkewick (bass) and Jerome Tovillo (drums). “My back-up band is Desiderata (the local punk band), pretty much. They are incredible. I am really lucky to have them!” exclaims Moore.
Marlaena Moore will release Beginner on February 8 at Wunderbar (Edmonton).
By Jenna Lee Williams
Photos: Jenna Lee Williams (top), Eric Taylor (middle)