MOANA Mayatrix reloaded

After unveiling their new EP, Feet In The Ground, Eyes To The Sky last Friday, November 5, Perth’s Moana will celebrate the release with a live launch at The Rechabite on Friday, November 19. Led by songwriter and vocalist Moana Mayatrix, the record features five tracks of expansive and immersive music that follow on from 2019’s debut album In The Allure. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Moana Mayatrix to find out why it’s their most personal release yet, and what we can look forward to at the launch.

Congratulations on the release of your new EP! You’ve described this record as more personal than anything you have done before…was that deliberate or more as a result of what you were experiencing at the time?

Thanks! There’s a part that’s deliberate and a part that’s freeform flowing into it. As I’ve evolved and changed, growing into womanhood, I value vulnerability and honesty as true strength more than before, so I naturally felt called to put aside the rock-queen armour and open up and be more vulnerable in the music. Having journeyed with depression for many years of my youth and having endured some intense heartbreaks I had a lot to share at the heart level, and this tells the story of some of it…still with a generous helping of mythology on top.

These tracks were originally meant to be B sides from your debut album In the Allure. How did they grow into something more?

They didn’t really evolve to be something more, they already were. We just changed the name/approach from “B-sides” to “EP” because we felt they deserved their own name and celebration. B-sides has such a “not good enough” connotation and these have their own unique beauty (laughs)! More long-form, more poetic, more symphonic.

Feet in the Ground, Eyes to the Sky is out now

This EP is said to be an “exploration of two parts”…how is that element of duality central to the record?

After the recording process, sitting back and listening to the five tracks it felt like two different moods under one name – Earth and Air. Like they fit together in their more poetic approach, but sounded quite different and were written quite differently too, so splitting them up like a two-part thing made sense.

Feet In The Ground – with my bandmates Lochy, Willow and Austin Kingdom and Temple, were written as an extension of the In The Allure sound, albeit far more progressive, telling a mythic story of my personal journey of self-discovery through self-destruction.

Eyes To The Sky – as a soloist I found myself sitting at the piano, an instrument from my childhood, writing stripped-back love ballads of heartbreak; something far more intimate and orchestral in three tracks A Rose In The Darkness, Cry Of The Banshee and Immortal.

And musically speaking, was there anything you did differently on this release compared to your previous work?

Me playing piano was entirely new! And it clearly creates such a different mood to what we’ve put out before. Incorporating orchestral instrumentation  like flute, cello, violin and sax in a more composed and orchestral way to support the new poetic style was exciting and new.

Also experimenting with more long-form songs on a progressive journey rather than “bangers” – these are much more slow-burning tunes to be enjoyed like poetry. And I think overall, playing with a lighter and more uplifting mood in tracks like the Kingdom interlude, Rose and Immortal meant vocally my voice is far more exposed and free, liberated from the dark-rock-queen thang.

There is always more to a Moana show than just the music, what kind of night can we look forward to at the launch at The Rechabite on Friday, November 19?

Indeed this will be a most spectacular evening! We will be playing three sets! The first is our classic psychedelic, dark surreal rock styles. The second I’ll be hitting the piano with a string ensemble and we have collaborated with two of Perth’s finest avant-garde performance artists Essie Foxglove and dancer Bobby Knox to do pieces to these songs. The third set we take you one a symphonic journey of the lead singles Kingdom and Temple in their entirety.

Of course we’re setting up The Rechabite with some great style decorations, mad light show and performance artist Ginava will be entertaining you between the live music sets from NEW TALK and The Wedges. Seriously epic, epic, epic! We can’t wait.

What’s next for Moana looking forward to 2022? Any more new music or live shows we can look out for?

New music in a completely new way… stay tuned!

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