The Verse’s Gemma Turner tells us what she thought of SBTRKT’s Denai Moore at Komedia on 20th September 2017.
London based Denai Moore first rose to prominence when her voice featured on SBTRKT’s 2014 album Wonder Where We Land. The following year, she released her piano infused, debut album Elsewhere. June this year Moore has returned with new album We Used to Bloom, as well a UK tour to follow. Brighton’s Komedia was lucky enough play host to Moore and her band on 20th September 2017.
Opening the gig was Martin Luke Brown. A one-man master instrumentalist, destined to break the mainstream river bank (if he should want to). Although many of the audience members were unaware of Brown when he began, his soulful pipes teamed with infectious rhythms will not be forgotten in a hurry by his newly adoring fans.
(If you like Jack Garrett, you’ll appreciate his alternative approach to the music industry).
Following the warming of the crowd by Brown, Denai Moore softly opened the set with her first track Trickle. Admittedly, Moore’s vocals were a little understated at first, but her wispy tones loosely supported the exposure of the vulnerability in her lyrics, drawing in the audience to listen further to her personal journey. By the second song, Moore had set the artistic space she desired, and it was clear how grateful she was to be performing for the first time in a town that she described as ‘having a great connection to’ explaining that her ‘writing process took place between London and Brighton’. The crowd seemed equally grateful for her musicianship, with more than a few mouthing the words to tracks like Does It Get Easier?
Accompanying Moore was a 4-piece band that included lead guitar trumpet/drum pad, bass, drums, as well as Moore herself playing an array of instruments. The band was clearly devoted to this musical journey too, with harmonies that were densely captivating, drawing in their audience to see and feel the words sung, planting imagery with the entwined vocals. During one song, vocalist and lead guitarist Polly took over center stage. You could really feel the bands synergy – they were not just supporting but were a part of the experience.
In an interview with Redbull, Denai Moore described her new album as ‘evolving around personal growth and self-acceptance’. She goes on to describe her first song Trickle as ‘a song about anxiety and the relationship that I have with it and how it kind of grows in you’. The delicate essence of this is apparent in the deliverance of the song.
Denai is down to earth and very open about her music; this definitely shined through. The ability to tell a story with such authenticity as well as the collective effort from her band resonated through the whole evening.
(If you enjoy Sza, Nao then check Denai Moore out. There is even a Kwabs duet on the album).
‘Vulnerable vocals, alluring and innocent, Denai Moore’s internal and external exploration is one of beauty.’