It’s been ten years since Moby put out his multi-platinum selling album, Play. it became ubiquitous in films, TV, and commercials. You’ll hear echoes of Play in Moby’s new album, Wait for Me, a song cycle of personal reflection and heart-tugging moods. Like the old field recordings he used on Play , its sound is dusty, scratchy and has an antique techno veneer. But even though he uses little vocal sampling, he writes his lyrics as if he was cutting and pasting vocals off old 78s.
Moby: I listen to a lot of very, very old music, And one of the things that I love about old blues and some old gospel music is how plaintive and repetitive they can be. And I guess because I listen to so much old African-American music, it kind of makes sense that when I would write my own vocals and my own lyrics that they’d be inspired by that.
Singers Kelli Scarr and Amelia Zirin Brown (who also performs burlesque as Lady Rizzo) are the vocalists on several songs. They’re little known singers, but they bring a vulnerability and world-weariness beyond their years to Moby’s music on songs like the title track, “Wait For Me.”
Moby: What’s expressed in that idea, “Wait for Me,” is a degree of vulnerability and longing. there is a spiritual connotation to it, which is that idea of like saying to God or to whomever, like I clearly have no idea what’s going on. I don’t know what I’m doing, just have a little patience with me.
Wait for Me, is a deeply personal album, far removed from Moby’s techno dance origins.
Moby: Wait for Me is made by me in a very almost monastic way in my studio by myself late at night. And it’s really designed for one listener. It’s not designed for a party, it’s not designed for 20 people in a bar or night club to listen to. It’s for someone lying in bed Sunday morning at 9 o’clock when it’s raining outside.
Moby said he wanted to make a personal album, and he did, but it also speaks to universal yearning. Wait for Me is out now on Mute Records. It’s the Echoes July CD of the Month and I’ll have a more extended interview with Moby about it on Monday’s Echoes.
This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))