On the eve of her tour to promote her debut solo album, the Australian musician and singer Georgia Mooney discusses her love of theater in performance, and the surprising gifts of discovering a new instrument
Featuring Georgia Mooney
Photography by Eryca Green
Words by Laura Neilson
Daydreamers, rejoice. Georgia Mooney’s debut solo album, Full of Moon, isn’t merely a collection of songs, but rather a luscious and enchanting soundscape of assorted reveries. As a member of the band All Our Exes Live in Texas, the crimson-haired Australian has already proven herself as a singer and musician. Her new album, however, reveals Mooney in her fullest form as she steps into her splendor as a solo artist. How spectacular that she brings us along for the ride.
One of my earliest memories is watching and listening to the Sound of Music. I was just completely addicted to that. But my mum was definitely my biggest musical influence when I was a kid. We both love lots of old folk musicians like Joni Mitchell. She was big into James Taylor, Neil Young, and ABBA—we would do a lot of dancing.
Another thing that influenced my sense of performance was that my auntie was a principal opera singer, and we would go to the opera house and watch her perform. As a child it just felt like something completely magical and otherworldly—being in costumes on the Opera House stage.
With my music, I hope to give people a moment to just daydream and have a bit of respite from the daily grind. Especially in the time that we’re living through—my aim is to kind of soothe people.
My favorite artists are the ones that put on a bit of a show. I like it when there’s an element of theater, and I try to embody that. I really like to get dressed up and step into that world, rather than just falling out of bed onstage, which some people do beautifully. Some people are very much the same offstage and onstage, but I like to get into a zone. It’s about chasing a bit of a higher state—seeking beauty and romance and escapism.
I’m excited to be on the road again. I like that slog where you’re getting up and traveling to a new place every day. I think that’s my favorite thing about being a musician. That’s what I want to do so much for this next year, now that the album’s out—just play as much as possible. I think it’s the best way to build an audience, and feel like your music is connecting with people. It’s very hard to feel like a musician with just streams and algorithms. You’ve got to get out there.
I won a dulcimer in a raffle a few years ago. I think there’s something very feminine about it in a way, and I love the sound of it. You play it on your lap, and—again—there’s something very gentle about that. It rings out for a long time, and it’s very nice to sing over. I wrote about half the album on it. I had no idea how to play it, and I still don’t really know…I just fumble around. I like approaching music in that way. I like to play around on an instrument and just sort of see where your fingers go. I think it's nice to introduce yourself to other instruments, because with each one comes a whole new world of possibilities. Your fingers don't have habits yet, so you can just see what happens.
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