Having little to no background knowledge about songstress, Denai Moore, I headed to Glasgow’s Stereo in the heart of the city’s centre for an evening of soulful music about anxiety, an almost parting gift to her demons, with an anticipated layer of discord. With a band of five, she held the stage, playing to a half-full venue, finding her voice at the very end of her tour.
At a young twenty-three, the last couple of years have been an severe period of growth for the Jamaican born, Stratford-raised Denai Moore , which is openly documented on her album, We Used to Bloom. The ten songs reveal a twenty-something figuring out and coming to terms with the world and her place in it, while also focusing on her relationship with her herself, exploring her self-esteem and self-image and the crippling anxiety.
Soulful, discordant, she clearly hones a talent and has deep influences and connections to other musicians that don’t find life easy. I noted Bjork and Elliot Smith references there, but musically following in the steps of Erikah Badu or Corinne Bailey Rae. There are other things going on within her tracks which render her somewhat different, complexities with synth and trumpet, as she amplifies and charts her complex struggle to find her place in the world.
Performing tracks like Trickle and Bring You Shame, there is an understandable unease expressed by Moore on stage, and a resonantly honest persona, which we are not often subjected to at gigs like these. Performing with such open integrity is a wonderful but formidable watch and no doubt she will attract a particular crowd that can sympathise or empathise with her struggle.
Beautifully honest with a clearly stunning talent, it was however not the easiest gig to enjoy.
For more on Denai Moore click here for details.