Current Issue #488

The Other side of Alison Moyet

The Other side of Alison Moyet

Set to embark on her first Australian tour in decades, Alison Moyet will bring her latest album Other and much needed empathy to our shores.

“I feel really excited about it,” singer/songwriter Alison Moyet tells The Adelaide Review of her upcoming Australian tour.

“Touring’s my favourite thing. Last time I was there I didn’t feel I was at my best so I feel like it’s a good way to address things.”

One-half of Yazoo along with Vince Clarke, the duo was responsible for memorable synth-pop tunes such as Don’t Go and Only You. Moyet has come a long way since the eye-liner era of the ‘80s.

Her latest album Other is one of varying styles, threaded with moving lyrics and soaring arrangements powered by her remarkable voice.

“Over 30 years you’re going to change, aren’t you?” she says.

“You’re going to have a different voice, and I don’t just mean your singing voice, but the things you want to put across. I’ve changed in that I’ve lost the majority of my stage fright and I know who I am now.”

Knowing oneself can be difficult in an industry so preoccupied with appearances and big personalities. Asked how she has evaded the distorting effect of fame, Moyet explains that she very deliberately chose to avoid the spotlight and let her music shine over the years without falling into a spiral of self-involvement.

“My life is very different to what it used to be,” she says.

“I made very concerted efforts to belong to the real world. I chose my life as part of a small city, as a part of the community and instead of being observed I can be the observer. I can be far more watchful and therefore my songs can have empathy, but an empathy for us all rather than just me and my headspace.”

Moyet’s tour will feature some reference to the Yazoo days, but she’s clear though that this is no Yazoo revival tour, and audiences should expect the work to fit with her more mature voice and perspective.

“I’m not coming out to do a nostalgia show as much as there’s going to be old hits and old material present. It’s all readdressed to fit in with this electronic setup that I’ve got,” she says.

“For example, I don’t do Invisible anymore. I haven’t done that for about 30 years because it just doesn’t fit in with the language that I want to use.”

Other was produced by Guy Sigsworth, who is known for his collaboration with a multitude of pop acts, but also his work with distinct voices like Bjork, Imogen Heap and Moyet on her 2013 album Minutes. Asked whether she had a clear idea of what she wanted to achieve heading into the studio with Sigsworth, Moyet explains her top priority was simply artistic freedom.

“I never really have an intention other than the person I want to work with and I wanted to work Guy Sigsworth again, because I like working with the electronic palette,” she says.

“I also like that Guy doesn’t approach working with me as an old pop star – you know, imagining that that person wants to just regain their star and is looking for the big hit that will put them into mainstream radio. It’s going to sound pretentious and poncy, but I wanted to work from an artistic perspective and I wanted to work with someone who’s prepared not to make their choices be about a monetary position.”

Alison Moyet
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Friday, October 6

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