Review – “Gaze” – Marlaena Moore

reviewed by Anna Alger

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Marlaena Moore has slowly been making her way in the Alberta music scene over the past several years, her new record Gaze putting her growing confidence on display. The album captures the Edmontonian’s energy as part of a live band, as well as the unique observations found in her lyrics.

The title track starts off with a country-tinged, laid back air – before morphing into a driving indie rock song. Moore’s infectious riff underpins her insistent lyrics. “I can’t stop looking at myself through you,” she repeats throughout the chorus, exploring how a relationship can cause one to distort their sense of self. Hazy, 90’s guitars close out the track, relaxed drumming calmly filling out the music. Basic arrangements don’t take away from the power of her songs, “You’ll Absolutely Die” wrapping around the listener – all simple guitar and intimate vocals. “Sweet girl, your love is a shark – always moving, it’s damp and it’s dark,” Moore delicately sings.

Moore excels at drama – tension and release. This is heard clearly in “Feel It,” where she sings about masturbation: “I wanna see what I hope you see, tell me – show me how.” Rollicking piano and tense guitars follow Moore as she waits for her partner, fed up – and decides to take matters into her own hands. “In Love Again” finds Moore alone at the bar, feeling down and wishing for love over sensitive, jazzy piano. “He’s hanging his smile inside of my dreams,” Moore sings, before wailing of such taunts. Her impassioned plea is the honest end to an album that bares all.

Top Tracks: “Gaze,” “Future Love”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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