BEGINNING back in 2005 with the fine English psych-swamp rock charge of The Duke Spirit, Liela Moss has grown into being one of the UK’s most forthright and potent voices, never afraid to stand up and sing life as she sees it.
A quintet of albums with Toby Butler et al preluded a move to Somerset and Liela signing to Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union label as a solo artist; she debuted for that imprint with 2018’s My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth, which featured such elegant songcraft as “Memories And Faces”.
A he’s just released her second, Who The Power, which we reviewed here and of which we noted: “If you had Liela’s voice you could sing any sort of troubles away. In that she stands for us, is in some ways our soothsayer; she tells stories, scoops them from her soul, says it hard and true.” It’s synthpop for one last dance as the world folds in on itself in 2020. We were taken with the album, of course, and were minded to ask Liela what music had brought her here; had soundtracked her life. You’ll find the accompanying Spotify playlist at the end.
The track that influenced you to start making music?
“Sunrise, Sunset”, from Fiddler On The Roof, which I’ve never actually seen – the Miriam Makeba version from her album Forbidden Games, which my mum played a lot and I loved. And “Bicycle Race” by Queen, which I must have sung along to from age 2 in the car with my Uncle about a thousand times.
Tour bus favourite?
“Hit The City”, from Mark Lanegan’s album Bubblegum.
Saturday night tune?
“2020”, by Suuns.
And a Sunday morning record?
“Le Premier Bonheur du Jour”, by Francoise Hardy.
The first record you ever bought?
The cover version you would love to play?
“Know Your Product”, by The Saints.
The best cover of all time?
Nirvana’s cover of Devo’s “Turn Around”.
The best song I’ve written?
“Atoms At Me”, from the album I’ve just released, Who The Power.
The best cover version of your music?
If you can find me one, I’ll take a listen for sure.
The song that I remember most from my childhood?
“Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry: a massive tune that, and the album, for me as a kid. That and Jose Feliciano’s version of “Sunny”, by Bobby Hebb.
My favourite track made by friends?
“Civilisation”, by Joe Gideon & The Shark.
And by the band that should have been/should be bigger?
The album World of Echo, by Arthur Russell.
My guilty pleasure?
“Take On Me”, by A-Ha. Its my pre-puberty pop fave.
The record in my parents’ record collection that attracted attention?
“I Feel For You”, by Chaka Khan.
The record I’ll have at my funeral?
“If You Want Me To Stay”, Sly & The Family Stone.
The words of this song inspire me …
“Come Into My Sleep”, by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
The best record ever?
Maggot Brain, by Funkadelic.
The record that makes me sad?
Stonemilker, from Vulnicura, by Bjork.
The record that gets me on the dancefloor?
“Bam Bam”, by Sister Nancy.
The best record I have ever written/ever recorded?
My latest record is making me feel pretty bouyant, to be honest.
Liela Moss’s Who The Power is out now on digital, CD and limited yellow vinyl. Place your order at the Bella Union shop, here.