[Album Review] Marlaena Moore- Gaze
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)


Release Date: May 6th, 2016
Label: Sweety Pie Records

With such a great voice and an ear for a good tune, Marlaena Moore could easily be cranking out some marketable middle-of-the-road indie folk. Much to the chagrin of some record executive, Moore leans too far to the alternative and the quirky for any of that. Hurray for us. On ‘Gaze’ Moore stamps her idiosyncratic and somewhat askew mark on the proceedings, leaving little room for any doubt.

Perhaps she comes close to putting a smile on that executive’s face with the opening track “Gaze”, even though there is a Joy Division darkness behind those jangly guitars. However, any misguided hopes of her being the next Carly Rae Jepsen are completely dashed to the ground with the next song. Not that there is any whiff of country air here, but there are some favourable resemblances to Neko Case in “24 Hour Drug Store”, both in the vocal tone and the good eye for irony. The vibe is downbeat and wonky as Moore expresses her delight in the simple pleasures of a store that never lets you down, even when the rest of the world does. Lovers of the unconventional and the off-beat rejoice, for this is the true face of the artist known as Marlaena Moore.

Throughout the balance of the record she tries on several hats – wonky pop (“Future Love”), smoky lounge blues (“Feel It”), doo wop garage (“Sidekick”) – but they are all reflective of her self-assured style. On a couple of occasions during the stark, confessional “Magic Knife” she splits the air, breaking out in noisy grunge/punk style, hence revealing her musical roots (Moore is also a member of the (mostly) female garage band, Switches).

Moore is well-rounded – she is the complete artist. Her voice is so compelling, though, that it is worth the price of admission all on its own. She displays incredible dynamics, such as the wild woops in “Sidekick” as she easily strikes into the higher registers. For the ost the part, however, my voice is a river of icy clarity that is relentless. It is like a force of nature that cannot be stopped, only reckoned with. Much like Moore herself.