Artist : Denai Moore

Album: Modern Dread

Label: Because Music

Rating: 8.5/10

Words: Gugu Khumalo

This  album moves in various directions and is  perhaps her paramount  work  including influences like electronica, pop, soul and so many more. Modern Dread is a  departure  from  some of her previous works. This album Moore, digs through the emotions and feelings we often find buried beneath the surface around the sun. The album sounds like an open letter, even a love letter to herself and the world at large. The lyrics are multilayered offering a new hidden meaning with every listen, accompanied by an inventive beat and catchy hook.

 While this album is a different sound and overall aesthetic with its use of the new and quiet popular sound quixotic beats,  it is a desired and welcomed breath of fresh air in the industry. Her velvety voice still establishes dominance over, the album reads as a personal rebirth purging feelings of the past. At 13 tracks this album is on the long side, but an amazing listen nonetheless.

Throughout  Modern Dread, Moore’s voice is a constant sound a lighthouse bringing us back to shore, her deep introspection and exhibition of those feelings, in her amazing rendition and creation of her album

As a whole there’s a large influence of electronic music and acoustic influences as well as uncovental sounds such as the organ. Songs like the openerToo Close”,  has a little bit of a religious motif with its use of the organ, in the beginning of the song, the song breaks down the intricacies and internal battles of the process of forgiveness and reconciliation, which are core values in  many religions one could say, and  she comes to terms  with the invariable result of solitude.

Throughout  Modern Dread, Moore’s voice is a constant sound a lighthouse bringing us back to shore, her deep introspection and exhibition of those feelings, in her amazing rendition and creation of her album . Songs of electronic and pop elements throughout the album  such as “Cascades” and “Don’t close the Door”, embrace and exude the feeling of a weird and surreal dream, has a pop and electric sound to it, accompanied by unexpected manipulated vocals, laden with electric dance vibes, the catchy tunes that add a light hearted sound to otherwise darker moments, there’s an invariable influence of EDM and dubstep music.  The song  “Motherless Child” perfect summer groove, with an upbeat poppy sound to it, capitalising on the classic trusted, electronic sound, that makes the summer sounds.

overall this album is undoubtedly one of the best of the summer, the perfect blend of care free tunes accompanied by deep and a constant strong voice to guide you through the journey

The lead singleTo The Brink” the use of electronica and in parts of the  song  there’s an orchestral influence of music, accompanied by electronic music, coming to terms with the loss of hope in the surrounding world. “Offer Me”, though it has the electronic club banger sound to it, this  song has a particularly icy and  somber sound to it, amplified by the use of vocal manipulation in the background. 

 “Turn off the radio” a track heavily inspired by the world of EDM and electronic influence, her voice rises above the electronic waves. Songs like” Slate” on the shorter sound and makes use of various bass sounds and percussion, focus on rhythmic precision, almost as if she was channeling a trance state. “Honour and grapefruit” sound  is raw and skeletal; the piano is particularly effective in  exhibiting the anxieties that come in the modern world; the percussion and synth have become a constant feature in the album these vocal centred tracks, focus on the  values of nostalgia, use of vocal layering in this album as well as the influence. “ Hail” has a more full sound making use of the  bare elements of music, beautiful nonetheless, the  mixture of  bass, dainty electric effects, makes it  sound like something out of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

The album  ends with the bitter sweet note “Wishing You Better”, ending the chapter of the album and the excavation of her feelings throughout the album, overall this album is undoubtedly one of the best of the summer, the perfect blend of care free tunes accompanied by deep and a constant strong voice to guide you through the journey.

Modern Dread is out on July 3rd via Because Music

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