George Moir has today released his new single, 'Big Boy Cruising'. An incredibly charming, laid-back pop hit in a similar vein to the likes of Rex Orange County, it's, unsurprisingly, about progress, growing up, heading out on life adventures - all that good stuff.
"It’s a song about having overly optimistic, huge ambition," says the Plymouth newcomer. "I approached the whole song from a very naïve, childlike place, partly because it was really fun to write, but also because I think it’s quite a humbling way to look at your life goals; it makes it a bit easier to hold onto your dreams less desperately, because who knows if they’re actually gonna happen or not?"
It arrives alongside a self-animated video, too, which sees our George riding a tricycle through Postman Pat land. Living the dream. Give it a watch below, and find out more about George from the man himself.
Hi George, how's it going? Are you stuck at home at the moment? How are you filling your days?
It's going well, thanks! Or I guess as well as it can be, some very weird times we're in right about now. Honestly though, my life hasn't changed too much, I don't usually leave the house loads anyway, which would be a bad thing at any other time. We're a good chunk into the lockdown at the moment, so the days are starting to blend together a bit now, I'm currently spending silly amounts of time sitting at my computer making artwork, animating, and writing music – it's just about keeping me sane!
What first got you into music, have you always wanted to be a musician?
I first got into music really early; my mum used to have this mad cassette tape collection which she'd play all the time – I think that's the earliest thing I can trace it to. It was a mix of classic Glen Miller and Nat King Cole, with Nina Simone, some Jazz tracks, and a bit of Contemporary Christian stuff thrown in. Anyway, I was like three and really wanted to be a Jazz Pianist. My parents eventually got a piano, and there were soon rules in place, so I didn't spend all day on it.
I really have always loved it, but I never really looked at music seriously as a career. I'm still kind of in shock that it's actually my job now! I mean, it's always the dream, I don't think I ever grew out of the astronaut, popstar, inventor kind of aspirations everyone has as a kid, but I never expected to actually get the opportunity to give it a shot.
Can you recall the first song you ever wrote? How have you progressed since then?
The first song I ever properly wrote with words was called 'Audio Disease'. I remember having to google how to spell 'disease' and feeling like a very silly 14-year-old. Every now and then I listen back to old tracks, and I think everyone's first one is a bit of a cringer – mine being no exception. The words were a load of gobbledygook, and I had this horrible fake string patch droning through the whole song. I hope that I've progressed in pretty much everything since the first song! But I think it's just a time thing; I caught the songwriting bug after that, and have improved my singing, playing, and writing by just doing it lots. I still cringe at older tracks, but a little less than I used to!
What's your songwriting process like?
It's kind of a go with the flow thing; it's not a refined process at all. I've always written music and recorded it at the same time, so the whole recording, production, writing workflow sort of rolls into one. I go into this weird zone when I'm doing it on my own, like a deep focus thing, it's like all my other senses sort of shut down. When I exhaust all my ideas, I snap out of it and realise I might not have eaten all day, or I can't feel my legs 'cause I'm so cold or something. I don't think it's super healthy haha! It's been cool recently though, as I've had the opportunity to figure out how to do it in a more collaborative way. I've been working with an incredible producer called Josef Page for the next EP. The pace of it makes it really fun – just run through and get a load of ideas in, then we sort of chisel away at it until it's more in the shape of a song. It also means I don't get so cold and hungry anymore too.
What's it like being a new act in Plymouth, are there many opportunities for up-and-comers?
It's weird, I think Plymouth has got some mad musical talent bouncing around in it, but the scene here is so diverse in musical style, it can make it a strange one to navigate. It's a sort of "where do I fit in?" feeling. It's a really cool place to start up though, I've really enjoyed it – there are some incredible opportunities in and around the city. The biggest one for me has been BBC Introducing, Sarah over there does an incredible job of highlighting the coolest stuff coming out of this end of the country. There's also a big live scene too, which is actually still going strong at the moment, with artists like Grace Lightman and Jamie Yost doing live sets from home. I'm not really that clued up with gigs in Plymouth though, I know there are some cool venues, cool acts that play them, and some great opportunities for new artists to get going, but honestly, I don't have a clue what I'm doing – I stay home too much.
How did you come to sign with Infectious Music?
It's sort of a mad story. I was working at a TV company as an animator, and I made a music video for one of my songs in my lunch breaks and after hours. I was joking around with my wife before I released it, something along the lines of "imagine if I put this out and got signed lol" – complete ridiculousness. I put it out, and it was met with some lovely reviews from some blogs. My first ever blog placements, and exposure beyond friends and family, ended up leading to some trips to London to meet some labels. I had a little while of scrambling around trying to figure out what I was gonna do, but eventually managed to get the right team together. Infectious seemed like the perfect fit, and after a while, I went up to sign with them on that blazing hot 40-degree day last year. It kind of feels like it's all landed in my lap a little bit.
How did you get into animating? That's such a cool skill to have. Does it help with your work as a musician?
Haha, it might sound cool, but it's literally the nerdiest thing ever! I got into it when I was like 10, I stole the family digital camera and made a load of Lego stop motion films. Eventually, I ended up doing it freelance straight out of school, but I never really used it in conjunction with music – it was always like two very different skill sets in my head. It does help with my music though, it's still a very separate process for me, but it allows me to go a bit deeper than I usually would with exploring meaning in my songs. It's another muscle of expression in my toolkit, and I'm very grateful to have it!
Tell us about your debut EP - how long did you spend working on 'Spare Room', and what's it about?
I think I actually spent way less time on the music than I did on the videos. I didn't count up hours on writing and recording, but by the end of it, I'd spent somewhere around 800 hours making the music videos and artworks for the project.
I wrote the songs as a way to process things that were going on in my life, and make sense of my own mental state. It only came together as a cohesive project earlier last year. As an EP, it's really an exploration of personal perceptions, and how looking at different situations through different lenses can really change how you look at your life. Throughout the tracklist you get various snapshots of more internalised anxieties (tracks like 'People Pleaser' and 'Blame'), and other external stressors that are equally as uncomfortable ('Honesty' and 'Be With You'). It's ultimately about trying to make sense of things, and how diving deep into different worlds of perception can help with that.
And you're working towards another one?
Yes, another one's on the way! The next one is a bit more jolly. I'm still trying to make sense of life, now more so than ever, so there's still a lot of the same attitudes and ideas in the subject matter I sing about, but I've had loads of fun with approaching serious stuff with a bit of a lighter tone.
What do the next few months look like for you?
I'd be lying if I said I knew exactly what they'll look like – things right now are a bit up in the air for everyone at the moment. But, hopefully, I'll be finishing up some last touches on this next EP, making some cool artwork, and putting out a single or two!
Anything else we should know?
While you're waiting to hear my new music, I've got my friend James the fish who comes and takes over my Instagram every now and then, and I'm sure he'd love to see you over there. It's good, I promise.