British singer back with an electronic beatWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Moyet and her husband were in Amsterdam on a rainy day and decided to see a movie.
“The Tree of Life” grew on the chanteuse.
“It’s starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, so it has a cast where you can understand lots of people think it’s going to be some kind of thriller or at least they’d get a chance to look at some attractive pecs,” she said during a call from her home in Brighton, England.
“I didn’t want to see anything too challenging. It’s in the song ‘Filigree.’ I was looking for a little filigree,” Moyet said referring to a track from her new disc, “the minutes.”
“I sit down in this film and the pace was so — there didn’t seem to be any narrative or clear dialogue; it was all about beautiful imagery. And when you’re not expecting that, it takes a bit of time to get into pace with it. Meanwhile, the cinema is emptying,” she continued.
“Yet I found myself getting into pace with it. And it was right at the end of the film where there’s this five-minute passage, which is entirely joyful and redemptive. And I looked around at the people who hadn’t left and they were, like me, kind of concave and wet-faced and entirely moved.
“It struck me how soft and redemptive, be it someone who is suicidal or be it out of love or out of a project or if something becomes too difficult, we all know a ship we feel is sinking, but if we just hang on, then we find these little moments that we really don’t mind that actually feel like a complete sea change for you.
“And it strikes me that we’ve been fed this lie that our lives are supposed to be seamless and it’s supposed to be filled with joy, filled with romance, full of love, full sexually — all these kinds of things that we feel we have something incredibly wrong if our lives don’t turn out that way. And it’s when you get to this age that you understand that those joyful times, those spectacular moments, that those moments of change do happen in those brief minutes in those pedestrian years that you can feel far more liberated and finally able to enjoy your lot,” the singer-songwriter said.
“For me, with this album I found so difficult to make because no one wants to make a current album with a middle-aged woman, you know, they’d love for me to do covers albums, and it felt really important that I hold out for this, that the making of this and to get it realized; these are some of my minutes.”
Moyet’s life has been filled with minutes. She teamed up with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke to form Yaz. The synth-pop duo’s 1982 debut, “Upstairs at Eric’s,” introduced her powerful voice with “Don’t Go,” “Only You” and “Situation.”
The two split after one more album, and Moyet went on to stardom as a solo artist in the United Kingdom, where her hits include “Invisible,” “Love Resurrection,” “All Cried Out,” “That Ole Devil Called Love,” “Love Letters,” “Weak in the Presence of Beauty,” “Whispering Your Name” and “Is This Love?”
With “the minutes,” Moyet returns to that synth-pop sound.
“My management company knew I wanted to work in electronic music again; it was just finding that right person,” she said.
Enter producer Guy Sigsworth, who has worked with Madonna, Robyn and Björk.
“We’re both quite socially awkward; yet with what we do, we’re both really solid. And I love the fact that he started off his musical life as a Cambridge University harpsichordist,” Moyet said. “So working with him, we really found that we spoke the same English.”
Released last month in the UK, “the minutes” debuted at No. 5. The U.S. release is set for June 11 on Metropolis Records.
“I’m most proud of the times I’ve had to stand and fight,” Moyet said. “When I was swimming against the stream and finding myself completely not supported and then getting the best reviews of my career … that’s happened twice. It happened with the ‘Hometime’ album and now it’s happened with ‘the minutes.’ When I don’t have the big machine behind me and I wasn’t an industry babe … that’s really great vindication.
“And it’s quite lovely to find out how much good will I have out there from people who have love in their hearts. That’s a lovely thing.”