Earlier last month Denai Moore released her astonishing new album Modern Dread, which finds the convention-defying singer/songwriter exorcising personal demons while also voicing her concerns for the world at large, a daring exercise in micro versus macro that pays off richly in what is a dazzling step forward in artistry. Modern Dread follows on from the critically hailed 2017 album We Used to Bloom, but represents a delicious quantum leap in her career, a unique blend of quixotic beats and introspective, sometimes harrowing songwriting which will undoubtedly stamp Moore as one of the most original talents we have around right now. 

Denai, your first EP was called Saudade, do you have any Portuguese roots, or was it a shoutout to Cesária Évora?

I actually don’t, I strangely saw the word from a Portuguese artist I followed when I was younger and looked it up, and just resonated with the meaning of the word. It’s a beautiful word. What I took from the definition was ‘the repressed knowledge that the object of longing for would never return’. My first EP has a lot of closure in it, a lot of endings.

I particularly like the song ‘Grapefruit on the Porch’ from your new album Modern Dread what the story behind that track?

This song was written about a time when I stayed in the Okinawa in Japan, in a treehouse next to the beach alone. I didn’t make music and it was almost like an isolated trip. Every morning I ate grapefruit on the porch, and I was just at peace the whole time there and just really happy. When I fell in love with my girlfriend it reminded me of that feeling of being at peace in Japan with the grapefruit on the porch, like nothing else mattered.

You describe yourself as genre-free and this freedom transpires through your latest album, would you consider creating an album exploring the possible ramifications of a specific genre?

I don’t think I’ve ever thought of making an album in a specific genre, the music I make tends to be informed by where I am within myself and what I’m experiencing. Often that would lead me to write mostly on an acoustic guitar or just making beats in Ableton. I think albums and songs tend to reveal themselves to you, and you find yourself in those revelations. I like knowing that I don’t know what I’ll make next.

I also heard you’re into gastronomy, what was the latest gastronomic discovery that left you speechless?

coffee. miso. caramel.

What are your plans for the rest of 2020?

I plan to work on my live show next, so excited to flesh about these songs and have more time to musically direct it!


Watch Fake Sorry below: