Followng up her single “Hesitant Kiss”, Nashville-based artist Mary Moore is introducing her new single “Map My Body”.
Co-produced by Collin Pastore, Jake Finch and Moore, “Map My Body” was inspired by a night shared with another person, and by Moore’s love of nature.
“I loved the idea of comparing a lover to an explorer, and my body to an unconquered land. I've always been obsessed with forest, trees, mountains, and all outdoor lands and I wanted to write a song that made you wanna be outside dancing!” says Moore.
Fusing elements of americana, folk and pop, “Map My Body” is an energetic and catchy record showcasing heavy drums and big vocals.
“Map My Body” is now available on major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself - what’s your story?
I am originally from Richmond, Virginia! From a very young age, I had fallen in love with singing, music, and performing. Around 10 years old, I was supposed to be practicing piano, but instead found joy in playing chords and singing little thoughts with a new melody I was creating in the moment, opposed to playing what had already been sung/created before. My love of songwriting and creating was born then, and it never stopped. For most of my life, I ran home to my piano to write music after school, and it became my stress release. Over the years I began understanding the power of song. In addition to songwriting, I drenched my life with music. I was in my high school's show choir, marching band, wind ensemble, musicals, and I danced with a studio outside of school. I also joined a classic rock and roll cover band and we played around Virginia most weekends. I fell in love with rock music, and the way it could make you feel so big and energetic at the same time.
After high school, I attended the University of Virginia. While at school, I joined and became the music director of an all female acapella group The Virginia Belles. In this group, we covered mainly pop songs, which vocally felt like an entirely different animal from classic rock. I started falling in love with the catchiness of pop music, and a sweet/softness that was missing in a lot of classic rock music. Our group got to tour around the country, and I learned so much about the music theory behind songs since I was arranging for the group.
At college, I was double majoring in Business and Environmental Sustainability, and most of my life, surrounded by practical people, I was told music wasn't really an option. In my final year at school, I was in a really unhealthy mental state, and I had one thought pop into my head - "I am going to move to Nashville and become an artist." It was the first thought in months that brought me joy, and even as the practical, rational part of my brain doubted me, the overcoming, unstoppable excitement I felt about pursuing music became all encompassing. After graduating in 2017, I moved to Nashville. My family and friends were excited for me, but I think my parents were a little nervous for me. They both were in the business world, my brother was an engineer, and I was on track to have a conventional, stable job. They are incredibly supportive, and definitely my number one fans. My friends have all been incredibly excited for me, and when I was weighing the decision of pursuing music, all of them wanted me to go for it.
Once in Nashville, I began playing guitar and falling in love with the story telling and emotion in songwriting in music city. I began playing open mics, and exploring the singer-songwriter scene. Most notable in my first few months, was being picked up by Lightning 100 to come play live on the station. In June 2018, I released my first single as an artist "The Sinner", and the song was played on WNRN and BMR radio. In November 2018, I released my second single "Hesitant Kiss", and the song has reached 25K streams on Spotify. After releasing Hesitant Kiss, I went back into the studio to record more music - which brings us to "Map My Body".
Growing up, what were you passionate about?
I've always been so passionate about music and performing, but my other passion has been environmental sustainability, and protecting our wildlife. We only have one planet, and we have to co-exist with all parts of our eco-systems. In high school I was the president of our recycling team, and in college I was part of a sustainability advocacy group, and I majored in environmental sustainability. Spreading the word about steps we can do to make our planet healthier has always been a passion.
When did you know you could sing?
I think I realized I could sing from the moment I could make noise. My family has all told me that I was that kid, singing, screaming, and dancing around in my own little world from the moment I could talk and stand.
I realized I could sing well when in 5th grade I was one of 6 chosen out of a choir of 100ish kids to audition for a solo at our concert. I didn't get the solo, but I think that is what made me think, huh, I seem to be better than average at this. I thought I was good, but in college in my acapella group, I heard a video of me singing from a performance, and I was kind of blown away by myself haha. Usually I heard clips of my voice and went numb and would cringe haha, but something about how I sounded on that song gave me a lot of confidence as a singer.
What or who led you to the musical path?
I am sure this is incredibly cheesy to say, but it kind of feels like my love of music just kept pulling me on the path. I really did try to fall in love with so many other "rational/Conventional" things, but the joy that comes from creating songs is unmatchable for me.
I think one of the people I am most thankful for in my path is my piano teacher David Paul. I wasn't very good at practicing what I should have been practicing on piano because I have never really enjoyed playing other people’s songs. But I loved playing piano, and did it for hours so I could write my own songs. At some point in a lesson. I showed David a song I wrote, and he decided we need to start pursuing that skill set instead. He told my parents he was going to focus me on songwriting and less on piano. I think he saw my love of creating, and he did such a good job of fostering it.
How would you describe Mary Moore, the artist?
I would describe my music as Bohemian-Pop music - music that makes you want to dance around a bonfire under the stars. My music is the wild flowers and vines overtaking an old building- wild and unstoppable, There is something big and energetic about my songs, like classic rock music - but also a sweetness/sensualness. My music is a blend of Folk, Americana, Pop, and indie-pop, but with some big rock-esque vocals. As an artist, the words I like to chant in my mind are: Warm, earthy, wild, and artistic.
And my hope with my songs as an artist is: When you are lonely and broken - come as you are. I will love you. I will understand you. You are not alone. You are me, and I am you. I hope these songs don’t just give you comfort, but give you the freedom to flourish in the messy and the darkness.
You’ve just released your new single “Map My Body”. What’s the story behind this song?
“Map My Body” was inspired by a night shared with another person, and the lyrics were driven by my love of nature. I think there is something so beautiful about the unknown and uncharted, and when you first begin to explore another person, you sometimes find things out about them, and they find things out about you, that no one has ever seen before. I was first just writing lyrics about the night, and then stumbled upon the hook of the song "Come Map My Body Out", and then I started thinking about how beautiful maps and cartography are. I loved the idea of comparing a lover to an explorer, and my body to an unconquered land. I've always been obsessed with forest, trees, mountains, and all outdoor lands and I wanted to write a song that made you wanna be outside dancing!
The recording session was so fun! I recorded this song with Collin Pastore and Jake Finch at Trace Horse Studio. I wanted the song to be drum heavy and dancey, and both of those guys are so talented and really brought the song to life. I love listening to this song and hearing all the tiny little parts that we've slowly added in, and I am in awe with both of their talents as producers. I also love how they mixed the drums. they made them so dancey and dynamic.
Recording this song vocally was also so fun! At the end of the song, the guys just let me riff around and belt as much as I wanted too. It was so freeing and I was hitting high notes I didn't even know I could sing.
What do you like the most about this song?
Every time I hear the song, I just want to start dancing- and I love that that is what the song makes me wanna do. I also love how how earthy the song feels. The background vocals, heavy drums, and acoustic guitar chucking make the song feel so real to me.
What made you want to release “Map My Body” as a single?
I wanted to release "Map My Body" as a single because I think it's super catchy and dancey! I think the little "wo-oh-oh" hook in the beginning of the song and tag of the chorus are so catchy and are a little ear-worm that will get stuck in people's heads!
Where do you get your inspiration from, as an artist?
Musically, I get a lot of inspiration from Florence + the Machine, Brandi Carlile, and Jospeh (The Band Joseph). I love all of these artist because they have powerhouse vocals, dramatic lyrics, and songs that make me wanna dance around outside, while also addressing meaningful concepts.
I also pull a lot of inspiration from our natural world. So many of my favorite lyrics I've written are about the earth, trees, rivers, sky, rocks, etc. etc. I just think there is nothing more stunning than nature, and so I love painting pictures of the natural world so people can be pulled into the song and feel like they are actually living in a moment in the outdoors. Like classic rock music for me, I want to take people to a place that makes them feel bigger than life- and I feel like words about nature can take people there.
Last, and the most common, a lot of my inspiration comes from moments and quick thoughts. Usually I will just be walking around, or driving somewhere kind of mindlessly thinking, and out of nowhere lyrics with a melody just bubble up. Usually that initial thought is coupled by an existential crisis I have been thinking about for a week, or from a bigger moment in my life, but the song is typically started by my brain just smacking me in the face with an idea, and then I am feverishly trying to capture the moment and feeling authentically, and using that initial idea as a compass.
What appeals you the most about songwriting?
I think songwriting appeals to me so much because it is a journal/diary, but I get to sing while doing it. I have a lot of emotions, thoughts, and feelings, and I love that I get to wrap them up into a piece of art. I also love that songs can so easily connect to people, and make people feel related too. I guess I love songwriting because it's a way for me to connect to how I am feeling, and also hope that someone else feels comforted by what I am saying, and they feel a little more connected to the human race too.
What would be your own definition of music?
Oh wow - what a question. Music is home. I don't think anything has ever made feel so at peace than creating and performing music. It's my meditation and my energy.
What does singing make you feel?
Singing makes me feel like the world around me doesn't exist. It makes the thoughts melt away.
How’s it like to live in Nashville? How does Nashville help shape your creativity?
Nashville is an incredibly supportive community, and I am so happy I have been able to hone my craft as a songwriter and singer in this town. Other artists in Nashville are really encouraging and really want to see you get better at your craft. And the people that live in Nashville and come out to shows really care about the music. I have never seen a more engaged audience than people in Nashville. They seem to care about the lyrics and the talent.
What’s your favorite thing about being an artist? And what’s the hardest part?
My favorite part about being an artist is getting to create. I love that I am creating songs, a brand, social media content, etc. I love that I get to create a whole different world for my audience to come into. I love dressing up, putting on make up, and creating the whole experience for people to come live in. The best part is creating the music- but creating everything else is so fun too.
I think the hardest part about being an artist for me is indecision. There are so many choices an independent artist has to make. When should I drop my single? What should the album art be for the single? Who should take the photos? I've got the photos back, which is the best one? Should I edit the photo to be a little brighter and more faded??? The options and decisions are endless, and I can feel very stressed if I am picking the best thing, especially when I am not an expert. I'm not expert graphic designer, video editor, producer, etc., and sometimes I'm worried the choices I am making aren't the right ones. I'm learning to trust my gut more, and accepting that every choice I think is best won't be everyone's favorite, but will hopefully be another person’s favorite.
What are the things you are the most proud of?
I am really proud of my NPR Tiny Desk submission being featured on NPR's All Things Considered blog!! I submitted my song "Redwoods" (studio recorded version will be released on the "Rooted Heart" EP), and because of the article, the video has racked up almost 5K views!
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
1.) I think we should eat a primarily plant-based diet. Eating meat/animal products is so taxing on the environment, and we could sustainably feed so many more people if we stopped consuming so much meat.
2.) I also think people should try to understand the "One-ness" of life. Humans, animals, plants, and everything is so connected, and so much more similar than we are different. It's sad that we have borders to make countries that determines which humans will starve and which won't. It's sad that we kill spiders in our home, spiders that were minding their own business, because we have claimed the corner of our living room ceiling as "our space". It's sad that we tear down rainforest to build cattle ranches to feed our increasing consumption of meat. We are all just living and breathing creatures, but somewhere in history we have decided to throw on labels which now determine what will live and what won't. I think we should take a step back and try live more in harmony with each other.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
The biggest lesson as a human I have learned is this: I am a human- who sometimes says the wrong thing, misses opportunities, reacts poorly, and makes mistakes. And, sometimes, these moments (where my intentions and actions don’t match who I think I should be) keep me up at night. I am slowly accepting these moments, learning from them, and letting them go. As I learn to love my bad and good, I am finding it easier to love and accept other people's mistakes, reactions, bad, and good. We are human, we are not perfect, and that is beautiful.
And as an artist, the most important thing I have learned - Just keep on keeping on. Keep working hard, don't cut corners. Fail fast and hard, and pick yourself back up quickly and move on with a learned lesson in your pocket. Keep trying to spark as many fires as you can, because you never know what is going to catch flames.
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