Lost And Found
44:50 min • Four To One Records • July 9, 2012
Every once in a while an album bursts onto the scene that is vibrant, promising, diverse, heartfelt, eclectic and sincere. This year I had hoped that such an accolade would be bestowed upon Madonna’s MDNA, but instead the debut album Lost and Found from little-known Moya seizes that crown.
The 21-year-old from Poole has co-written and crafted a record of manifold musical styles coupled with a rich, breathy, yet strong vocal that possesses a class and control to its delivery that Christina Aguilera could well take heed from. There are no overplayed histrionics here. There have been comparisons with Adele, but I’d like to think of Moya as more of an Emeli Sande/Lucie Silvas hybrid with more than a look of Jessica Biel.
The album kicks off with the ethereal title track and an understated yet divine guitar riff that The Edge would be more than proud of. Weaving into a marching drum beat, the song builds into a lush crescendo where Moya’s voice really crackles against the beautiful leftfield-pop arrangements.
A huge pop-crossover beckons with the track that follows. ‘Making Me Fall’ is a sassy, soulful number a little reminiscent of Cee-Loo’s ‘Forget You’ with some wonderful vocals in the chorus. The track features Neil Thomas in a wonderful middle eight section reminiscent of Drake or Bruno Mars at their very best.
The tone turns more soulful on the unknowingly seductive ‘Technicolour’, a gorgeous mid-tempo ballad underpinned by beautiful piano strokes and bittersweet harmonies. The mood slows even more on the aching, acoustic ode ‘Walk Away’, which would be a perfect antithesis to Emeli Sande’s ‘Suitcase’. What’s striking here is that the vocal is delivered in an extremely mature fashion for one so young; the emotion and turmoil are palpable.
So look around, enjoy the view,
This is the last time that she’ll ever look at you…
As the guitar strums herald the arrival of ‘Telling Tales’, the YouTube phenomenon from last year co-written with producer David Blair-Oliphant, we discover that the understated summery track about growing up and following your own path has lost none of its glimmer. There is a fantastic table-turn on the stomping soul groove ‘Lust’ bemoaning a clingy male love interest, where the woman takes control for a change.
Take away your halo, I need your devil back,
You’re not the boy that you once were,
You’ve been shot down with this love attack -
The album’s first half leaves much to prove and Moya does not disappoint. ‘My Alibi’ threatens to surpass Carly Simon’s ‘Nobody Does It Better’ with the opening piano keys and blossoms into an anthem evoking Alicia Keys at her most soulful with some electronica also in the mix. The album’s other heartbreaker ‘One Breath’ is a divine showcase for Moya’s vocals with a an exquisite key-change in the bridge. ‘Waiting Too Long’ is the sassy sista to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’, albeit more self-empowering and less maudlin. ‘Morning Rain’ has a subtle Latin rock feel to it and reminiscent of Morcheeba at their most edgy. ‘Lightning’ is a summery pop stomper with more than a nod to ‘Japanese Boy’ in the chorus that should set radio alight.
The album closes with ‘These Roads’, a beautiful, country-esque ode to growing pains that reveals a yearning to explore more of the universe.
So let me go -
Where the people can show me how to grow on my own.
Lost and Found is truly a triumph for Moya, a stellar and eclectic collection of well-written, diverse songs embracing leftfield-pop, summery anthems, latin, rock, electronica and soul with wonderful sultry and solid vocals. This moment is hers.