2020 album. Indie. Also available on CD.
On her second solo album, ‘Who The Power’, Liela Moss follows 2018’s deeply personal ‘My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth’ - an album at times serene, at others stormy, on every front sumptuous. Now, she has forged an album of questioning intensity and synth-loaded drama, with the expressive force in her voice refuelled by the urgent desire to interrogate the role of selfhood in fraught times. And, crucially, backed by the urgent grooves needed for the job. “If you’re going to deconstruct the modern psyche,” says Liela Moss, “you might as well dance to it.”
Album opener “Turn Your Back Around” is a yearning eco-lament set to banked synths over a propulsive beat. Or, as Moss puts it: “One filthy, upbeat, downhearted, close-your-eyes-and dance- by-yourself pop song, offered as a parting gift to Mother Earth”. “Watching The Wolf” is another forthright song for today, its brooding, near-gothic swagger framing a righteous modern-day folk tale about wolves converging to unseat a toxic political pundit. A controlled rage shows in Moss’s voice, which grows more liberated still amid the simmering darkwave throb of “Atoms At Me”, where Moss issues a call to free the senses from the call to consume.
Elsewhere, the moody elegance of ‘Battlefield’ and bruised plea of ‘Nummah’ rank among Moss’s finest vocal performances. ‘Suako’ offers pulsing synth-rock impetus to risk starting anew, while the blissful ‘Stolen Careful’ ends the album on a palpable note of revitalisation, all risks rewarded as Moss emerges refreshed in her hunger to explore new, meaningful ways to engage with the world.
Widescreen ambitions fulfilled, the result is another bold leap forward for one of alt-rock’s most magnetic, exploratory voices. Over 14 years, Moss’s work with the Duke Spirit (on pause) ranged from brawling riff-rock to more cinematic ventures. Other gigs have included synth-rock recordings with Butler under the name Roman Remains and various collaborative ventures – with UNKLE, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder and Lost Horizons, as well as serving as muse for fashion icons Alexander McQueen and Phillip Lim, among others.
Tracklisting: Turn Your Back Around / Watching The Wolf / Atoms At Me / Always Sliding / The Individual / White Feather / Battlefield / Nummah / Suako / Stolen Careful