Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Denai Moore relocated with her family to Stratford, England when she was 10. A string of EP's started getting the still teenaged Moore attention in the UK as a female version of James Blake with a folk side, and now at 22 she released her debut album in 2015 with Elsewhere.
Elsewhere flew under the radar in the States where it didn't see a release until October as a digital download. Moore lists the likes of Lauryn Hill, Bon Iver and Feist as influences and all can be heard in the music on her debut. The majority of the album was produced by Rodaidh McDonald who has worked with the likes of Adele and The xx, so the mix of electronic, acoustic, soul and pop here is no surprise. Moore tends to write from personal experiences and isn't afraid to delve into the darker aspects of life and relationships.
There isn't much in the form of upbeat, dance material here. Moore's music still retains some of her earlier roots in folk, "Flaws" is primarily acoustic guitar, some piano and her rich vocals for example, but McDonald's production fleshes things out with electronic beats, synths and lush arrangements. It's simply a beautiful listen all the way through, an album that should appeal to fans of artists like Adele or Lianne La Havas to name just a couple of others. "Piano Song", "Blame", "Absent" and the title track are just a few of the gorgeously executed tracks here on an album full of them. "No Light" is a soulful revelation, starting as an acoustic track but building into a powerful full band conclusion.
Denai Moore is one of those new artist finds that makes every year a joy in seeking out music. I didn't discover Elsewhere until late in the year, but it came at just the right time to catapult itself to my #4 Album of 2015.
Favorite tracks: "Piano Song", "No Light", "Absent", "Elsewhere"
Elsewhere was released in the UK April 6th, 2015. It was released as a digital download only in the U.S. October 23rd, 2015.