Molly Moore is an emerging musician with an extensive track record as a songwriter and recording artist. Originally from Riverdale, New York, Moore’s ambitions would lead her to Los Angeles, California, following a realization that the producers of some of her favorite bands were based there. After much trial and error, she gradually found her footing, and eventually crafted an eclectic musical identity that shaped her career, first as one half of the duo Cosmos & Creature, and later through her critically acclaimed solo output (2015’s Shadow of the Sun, 2016’s Now You See Me, and 2018’s Third Eye High, respectively). In addition to accumulating nearly 40 million combined streams from both projects, she has shared the stage with such big names as John Mayer, Dua Lipa, and Bebe Rexha.
Currently, Moore has released several singles from her forthcoming debut album, Voice on the Internet, out November 13th. The single “Handsomer,” done in collaboration with fellow singer and close friend Maty Noyes, particularly stands out for its contemporary interpretation of self-empowerment. Interestingly, its accompanying music video, directed by Dillon Petrillo, exudes a type of retro composition, emphasizing a popping, vivid color palette, and a nostalgic (albeit slightly trippy) ode to a popular early 90s pastime.
I caught up with Molly to discuss the peaks and slopes of her career progression, the concepts for Voice on The Internet and the “Handsomer” video, as well as what she has learned from her experiences thus far.
Given that you’re originally from New York, what was it that prompted your move to LA?
I had always wanted to come out here. I grew up acting, so that was another factor, given the types of industries that are here. Honestly, whenever I would google who wrote the songs I’d hear on the radio, all their producers would be from LA, so I was like, “I have to go to LA!”
It’s really impressive what you’ve done as a songwriter. Right off the bat – Jesse McCartney’s “Better with You” and EXO’s “Been Through”. In general, how was that process when it came to you developing that confidence?
It was a very long process. After writing a bunch of songs, I started to get to a place where I was comfortable expressing myself in any genre. I came out to LA when I was 19, and a lot of it was down to just spending my time working with other artists – losing my voice in the process and finding my voice again. I’ve even written a bunch of stuff that was never used (laughs)! But yeah, I learned to meet new people, how to collaborate, and how to get the most out of our sessions. I love creating and being able to write songs for myself and for other people.
Did putting in that constant effort eventually allow you to work with bigger artists?
Well, you want to know what’s funny about the Jesse McCartney song?
So, my ex-boyfriend was working in the studio, and he’d written a song over a track that was sent to me. I thought of the song one morning while he was going into the studio with Jesse, and being the opportunistic person that I am, I was like, “Yooo, Brandon! Wouldn’t Jesse sound so good singing ‘Better with You?’ You know, that song we wrote six months ago that we forgot about?” And he was like, “No, I’m not gonna play on that song. I wanna do something fresh.” But then once I had the chance to play Jesse the song stripped down and acoustically, he just fell in love with it and wanted it to be his next single!
That’s great how it managed to work out, despite initial protest.
Yeah, exactly! It was a great reminder to just stick to what you’re doing.
You also made your mark as an artist in the 2010s, both as a member of Cosmos and Creature, and through a series of solo EPs. What can you take away from that experience, having branched out to such a degree?
All of it was a tremendous part of my growth, my learning curve, breaking out of my shyness and performing, working with other people, and just embracing myself. We’ve spent a lot of years making music together; a lot of it didn’t come out, but a lot of it did, you know? If anything, I’ve learned to just put music out there, because people need it.
By 2018, you’d faced two big hurdles. Not only did you break up with your boyfriend at the time, who was the other half of Cosmos and Creature, but your father – in essence, your foremost musical influence – passed away. Was it kind of numbing to process, especially given everything you’ve achieved by this point?
That’s a good way of putting it. I was in one of the darkest places in my life and fully dissociated from what was going on. Yeah, it was a really wild time that I don’t remember a lot of. I was under the notion that I’d lose everything I’d worked for by taking time for myself. Though I realize that that was an unhealthy way of looking at it, even if it was understandable. Jumping back into work was something that helped me after it happened, and I even played a show a couple months later. But looking back, I wish I’d given myself more time. I did give myself a lot of leeway, but as far as real time and space to address what I was dealing with. It was just hard. Your health, on all levels, should always come first.
In your experience, when you deal with that amount of struggle in general, how do you get back in touch with yourself, and recognize your worth in life?
It’s really about going back to basics and taking one step at a time. So often, I think we feel like we’re supposed to be super humans, but in reality, we’re vastly uneducated about the systems within us, and simply having faith in ourselves – faith in who we’ve become, and faith in what is real. I wasn’t surrounded by the best people all the time, and I thought that how I felt was somehow not valid. At the same time, I was still able to get to the center of the issue – holding onto it; not throwing it away and avoiding it, but letting it stay for a moment. I know it sounds really simple, like “Just feel your emotions!” But I think the important part was being able to validate my experiences, because otherwise, I’d be delusional enough to not think they were real (laughs).
I can understand that. Through that pain, you managed to craft your latest album, Voice on the Internet. From what I gather, the album was something that simply kept you going, and was a factor in the healing process. Is that right?
Yeah, definitely. It’s a reflection of my staying single for a year. I had no one to drive me from session to session, and didn’t really know what I was doing. I felt really lost. I was living on my best friend’s couch for a lot of that time I was making this record, and it was a place in life that I didn’t expect to be in in any aspect. But the focus that I could still make something with the chaos and insanity that was happening inside my brain, and actually write songs that made me feel better, that’s what got me through. My friend Maty has been an amazing best friend through all of this.
Speaking of Maty, you did the single “Handsomer” with her as a collaboration. How did you two start working together?
We met almost two years ago at an event for women in music during Grammy week, with all these female artists that I’ve loved and looked up to my whole life. Maty was there, and she’s been putting out music for a while independently. I think we connected because we both have similar energies. Six months later, I was like, “Yooo, let’s make some music together,” and we wrote together for this album, and some of the stuff for her album. We’ve just become the best of friends (laughs)!
That’s cool how you were able to not only work through your struggles, but strengthen your musical partnership.
Yeah, it’s been awesome!
Let’s talk about the video for “Handsomer.” It has to be one of the most refreshing concepts I’ve seen – bizarre, arty, sexy, and nostalgic vibes all in one. How did you get involved in bringing that video to life?
We worked with a director who Maty was familiar with, and she was already working with him, which was awesome. To be honest, we actually had a totally different concept in mind, but couldn’t do it because of Covid. But we’d just moved into this incredible house in Silver Lake, where we shot the video, and we were brainstorming ideas. Then, Maty was like, “What’s this song about?” Suddenly, she was talking about lasers shooting out of our vaginas, and it all just made sense – like an unstoppable force.
That’s pretty badass.
Thank you, I appreciate it! It’s about women realizing the power within themselves. There’s a bunch of super heroes that come after them and are like “Why are you ignoring me? Why didn’t you text me,” and the message is like, “No! Self-worth! Turn that shit on,” you know? That was the original concept. Let’s make it super weird and super funny. And Maty’s boyfriend killed it playing all three male roles.
In terms of the concept that you have now, that mock commercial in the intro reminded me of the game Dream Phone.
Yeah, that’s actually what it’s based on!
Really? Ahh man, with the weird voice sample – “I really like you!”
How I see it, the actual cut of the video is about being in a good place emotionally, not having to worry about stupid guys who wronged you. Then, once you can show the world how content you are with yourself, other people would take notice, and gravitate toward you naturally.
Yeah! It’s the opposite of what people think, right? They have this idea that in order to find a partner, you have to send out a type of energy that shows that you’re actively looking for someone to complete you. But I think, on the contrary, the essence of life is not caring about someone more than you care about yourself. I just think that people could be a lot happier if they didn’t put so much pressure on themselves. Make sure you’re good first, you know?
Considering all that has happened in your career, what have you learned about yourself, both as a musician, and as a person?
I learned that you can tell yourself a lot of things based on how other people perceive you, but what really matters is what’s inside of you. So, I’ve been working a lot on how I project my personality, whether it’s in my music, my writing, or in my communication with people. It’s really liberating when you let go of all those expectations that others have set for you. You’re in control of everything that you are. I think about how I was just a product of undone work, and I’m starting to look at myself differently. It’s just made me feel like a whole person again. I felt like a shell of a human before, and now I feel comfortable being inside my body again – not worrying about what others think of me. There’s a lot of detriment that goes into that normally, and I just don’t think it serves me anymore.
Lastly, anything you’d like to say to your fans?
I love you guys, and I’m really excited for you to hear my first album. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into it, and this is going to be my voice on the internet!
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