Elizabeth Moen has made her highly-anticipated return to music with today’s release Creature of Habit, her first single of 2020. It’s been a restless pandemic for the Iowa singer-songwriter, who typically spends her time happily and evenly split between Iowa, Dublin, and San Francisco – and we’re excited the year is coming to a close with new music from the songwriter, which makes use of Moen’s trademark blues roots, although the track has a distinctly experimental, spacey edge to its haunting introspection.
In her heartland hometown of Vinton, Iowa, Moen taught herself guitar as a teenager. “I’ve always been able to sit alone in my thoughts,” she says, “but I can’t sit in silence.” Noticing this innate need to make noise at a young age, Moen affectionately referred to it as “an emotional journey with no destination.” But, little did she know, the journey has led Moen to many destinations, writing and recording music and playing live for people who have grown to love her music.
When the pandemic hit, like so many artists (and humans), life as we knew it was derailed and plans thrown out the window, but her focus remained steadfast and her default coping mechanism as relevant as ever; she kept writing songs. “I’ve realized there are only certain things I have control of in life and I gotta just keep growing, healing, and learning. These songs helped me while I wrote them in quarantine.”
During part of the writing process, Moen lived with her aunt who is a therapist. In her presence, Moen says she became increasingly intrigued by her own inner workings and more adept at dealing with them. For the songwriter, Creature of Habit acknowledges that innate human tendency to repeatedly resort to old habits, and the effort to—well—not.
Looking inward for lyrical inspiration, Moen looked outward for musical growth, delving into soundscapes she had not yet explored.“I’ve never really toyed with DAWs, keys, synthesizers until I wrote the title track,” she explains. “I’ve always been a guitarist and I wanted to explore new sounds while I looked into my thought patterns and tendencies.” Having launched in the lane of raw, bluesy, acoustics (opening for the likes of Lake Street Dive), Moen’s bold embrace of indie-pop production and electronic textures is especially enthralling. Her immense vocals and poetic poignancy swirl into the new sonic territory in a form that’s outright haunting.
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