Music

Jacob Moore explains wacky sonics and visuals of ‘Black Magic’

Black Magic is the first track from Jacob Moore in 5 years! The artist filled us in on the story behind it.

Sydney songwriter/producer Jacob Moore had a jolt of creativity back in 2020, inspiring him to conjure up some fresh originals. Black Magic is the first, and it’s a whirlwind of sonic and visual trickery.

We caught up with him to learn more.

Jacob Moore

HAPPY: Hey Jacob! Whereabouts do you find yourself today?

JACOB: Today I find myself in a pretty unique place, particularly for COVID times. My day job is providing tech support at the Sydney Opera House – I’ve been working remotely the last few months, currently living alone in Manly, snorkeling between meetings.

On this particular day, I was able to go on-site for a meeting and explore my magnificent workplace/venue while everyone is locked down.

HAPPY: Massive congrats on your first release in 5 years Black Magic! Tell us a bit about the track

JACOB: Black Magic tells a tale of warning/risk of things that may not be what they are thought to be when they first appear. I intended it to be a catchy, thumping little number with a deeper message behind the immediate intention of the main hook.

 

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A post shared by Jacob Moore (@jacobmooremusic)

HAPPY: What made this track (and the bonus B-side If I Didn’t Care) your coming out tunes after such a long hiatus?

JACOB: On the side of my day job as a computer nerd & night job fighting crime as ‘Batman’ (Shhh!), I worked as a session player/producer for a bunch of bands around Sydney & touring Australia for most of my 20’s. After my last band, Bell Weather Department finished up in 2015, I won an annual songwriting competition that Studios 301 were running, which catapulted me into doing a solo project for 12 months.

What I didn’t realise at the time, but can totally see now, is that I was burning out rapidly and my heart was genuinely not in it – I needed to take a break from band stuff for a while and got burned from the experience. In that time away, I still stayed low key creative but just kept things for my own enjoyment.

I got married, then divorced (it heartbreakingly lasted a year & unfairly split many of our close friendship circles), endured an almost insurmountable amount of family dramas – which in turn caused a huge toll on my mental well-being for approx 2 years – and moved away from all the constant dramas.

Early last year, during the first COVID lockdown, I decided I needed to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror (metaphorically), grasp control back over my life & only give attention to things that would benefit me – using my stories and music that I create daily as an outlet was one of the best ways I could accomplish exactly that.

I started making music again and digging out older, unfinished music work from my various hard drives and realised I already had tonnes of work that I know people would enjoy and that gave me the strength to feel connected to the world again.

HAPPY: Who were some sonic references for Black Magic?

JACOB: Sonically, I was referencing a kinda Queen-Esque We Will Rock You meets Yeezus beat done with a QOTSA/DFA 1979 styled riff. Mix that with a whimsy-ish Disney flutter in the pre-chorus and that’s what my silly brain concocted from when I first imagined the song till tracking.

HAPPY: The accompanying visuals for the track are super whacky! What was the production process for putting something like this together?

JACOB: Haha ‘production’ can only be used as a very light term here obviously. I purposely wanted the video to look as cheap, nasty and fake to tell the tale that things just aren’t what they seem – I wanted it to shine a light on the superimposed nature of our social media hype-driven world that we live in.

 

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HAPPY: What are you hoping your audience gains from the work sonically and visually?

JACOB: I genuinely hope people can see the funny side of such a serious subject – enjoy a dance and repeat listens will reveal hidden layers and meanings. I want to make people think.

HAPPY: What advice would you have for artists kicking off their music careers?

JACOB: Know what’s good for you, be in control & actually enjoy your craft.

HAPPY: What can we expect in the future of your music?!

JACOB: I have lots of new tunes at various levels of ‘not quite finished’ currently being mixed so plenty to be released in the next 12 months. I’m very excited about these new tunes and how well this bunch are gelling together. They are like my babies and I’m excited for people to meet them shortly – haven’t made up my mind if I want to play live again yet but I’ll look at that once everyone is vaccinated and venues can reopen.

Listen to Black Magic below: