Love Letter To A Record: Set Mo On Moby’s ‘Play’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Set Mo – Moby: ‘Play’

Dear Play,

We first met almost twenty years ago, and it was pretty much love at first sight/listen. Dad bought you from a CD store and we had no idea how influential this encounter would be. From the moment we first laid eyes on your candid outtake of an album cover you instantly had us intrigued and upon first listen

you did not disappoint. We were young, impressionable and excited by hearing these new and exciting sounds.

The catchy hooky vocals, and simple handclaps right from the beginning of the album opener, ‘Honey’, had us excited and we felt the anticipation building towards where we were heading. You then took us to another planet when we heard ‘Porcelain’ (still one of our favourite songs of all time). The sensual strings, delicate piano and soulful vocals made us melt into the music while we drove around looking out the window at the world passing by.

One of the things that drew us in right away was how you flow from track to track and jump around in styles and moods so seamlessly. Back then we couldn’t have described the genres of sounds if we tried but that was one of the things that lured us in so close to you. We listened to you over and over and would think about you even when you weren’t around. The somber ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’ is so emotive that we would feel it deep in our soul. The simple cartoon video clip left us confused and wanting to know more.

You’ve taught us so much over the years and that’s only become fully clear to us recently. You showed us that songs don’t need to follow specific structures or formulas. Through tracks like ‘Rushing’ we learnt that you don’t necessarily need vocals to convey emotion. It was you who showed us that albums can and should be varied and different. You’ve inspired us to try new things and extend beyond our comfort zone.

As we’ve just finished our debut album we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have taught us. How to sample so effortlessly, how powerful and driving a simple but solid groove can be and how a slow tempo doesn’t mean a song can’t be energetic and invigorating. Thank you for all of this and for everything else we’ll come to realise by listening to you for many more years to come.

Yours always,

Set Mo

Set Mo’s debut album ‘Surrender’ is out now and they will be taking it on the road across Australia and New Zealand this May and June. Tickets on sale now, head here for tour dates and details.

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