Release Date: 9 November 2018
“The act of making this record has felt truly exotic for me by way of its minimalism,” says Liela Moss of her debut solo album. My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth more than lives up to Moss’s promise of fresh, bold adventure. As Liela puts it, “I was in my own modest studio, surrounded by deep rural Somerset, and building the album bit by bit over a year with just my producer and partner Toby Butler – with whom I co-wrote all the music. We worked to our own schedule and across all seasons. Staring out of the window singing, I would watch the changing natural phenomena around me and sing to the forms outside. My window-view outside was like an umbilical cord; I was receiving little messages from the nature beyond and the songs were growing inside the studio, transmitting back.”
Over 14 years, Moss’s work with the Duke Spirit (not gone, just on pause) ranged from brawling riff-rock to the more exploratory Sky Is Mine (2017). Other projects have included synth-rock recordings with Butler under the name Roman Remains; elsewhere, Moss has leant her sublime voice to studio and live collaborations with UNKLE, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder and Lost Horizons, the project formed by former Dif Juz drummer Richie Thomas and Bella Union’s Simon Raymonde, who produced three Duke Spirit albums.
In 2017, Raymonde said this of Moss: “Outrageously talented as she is, I still think her best is yet to come.” Offering full affirmation on both fronts, My Name Is Safe in Your Mouth is a haunting snapshot of an intuitive artist seeking new ways to work without safety nets, a quest spurred forwards by her move to Somerset in 2014. As Moss puts it, “Whilst the tentacles of city started to loosen their grip, I began amassing vocals that I felt cut a stark silhouette, and I didn’t want to share with big drums and distorted guitars. I work on a few projects at a time, and the contrast of having disparate musical worlds to step into makes me feel more satisfied. But with this record, I’d gone way deeper than anything merely gratifying. I’d gone into that wordless-sparse-Haiku-what-the-fuck-silent-personal-revelation zone!”