moon baby: yours truly interviewApril 2021
by Untitled Queen
There once was a beautiful, dark, dirty, and wondrous wooden cavern of a gay bar
with plumes of smoke from a machine atop a raised balcony with a DJ.
A wide, one to two steps raised stage, with a ceiling so high, no wig could reach it,
nestled between Driggs and Roebling at N 9th, Brooklyn.
And it was my favorite.
It was called Sugarland.
One Wednesday we had Pittsburgh drag queens come to town to terrorize
and our last slot in the set, the queen with slightly marked smears of makeup and double long shrimp cocktail-like pressed nails stepped to the mic.
I’ll never forget it.
I noticed for the first time the club’s neon green laser lights,
the kind that vibrate out and then spin and constellate.
It was that still, that quiet.
And in the quiet, with no accompaniment
they opened their mouth and
let out this unexpectedly
soulful, melancholic, and haunting -- almost angelic hum
and began to sing “Killing Me Softly”.
Spellbound as we were, no one made a sound.
That was the first time I met and heard moon baby. In 2013.
In 2021, once I press play, the same voice beckons me,
this time to a different land.
A digital, animated, almost liquid fairytale universe
where puffy lavender golden clouds part to reveal
a castle beyond a purple field of grass, under a rainbow of golden arcs.
The captions read “Nonbinary Noisemaking”
in a wave of choral, melodic, evocative swells of oohs and ahhs
emanating from jewel-like turrets gradienting pink, purple, blue
with a continuous blast of golden shooting stars behind.
Could this be Eureka’s Castle? Or some Final Fantasy ending?
Or that bonus Barbie and Friends DVD?
Inside the vibrating iridescence is moon baby as a wistful winged video game goddexx in repose, glossy black eyes, middle part deep lavender long hair, long pink gloves, plucking a pink harp’s strings, dreamily musing risking heartbreak over a love letter from a race car driver suitor asking “Be Mine”, signed, yours truly.
Can you tell me about your upcoming new album and the first single “Yours Truly”? What was inspiring you and what was the process?
Yours Truly has been a long time coming. I wrote the song 5 or 6 years ago. After workshopping it with a few different producers, I recorded the vocal and sent it to my friend Troxum and he worked on the production and instrumentation. The song is inspired by the beauty of casual queer sex and budding romance-which really is the thesis of this album-the liberation that comes with queer love and joy. The album, The One You Need, looks at my sources of queer joy-empowering trans people, underground spaces, my partner, liberating sex, and the rave.
I love that queer joy and love is a big source of this work. I noticed in the music video introduction, the caption reads: “(Nonbinary Noisemaking)” which I loved. Can you talk more about how this album relates to trans empowerment?
Making this music and the universe it sits in has been very empowering for me. In the past, I was more hands off in the process of my music-I was the writer, singer, performer, but I didn't have a huge hand in shaping my projects. With this album, I’m more in control of where I’m headed and I want it to be bright and chaotic and reflective of the life I've built.
I think the shaping of your vision throughout makes all the difference and is reflected in the music video. Can you talk about this beautiful video collaboration?
Thank you! This video was created by Stacie Ant, a Berlin-based media artist. I have followed her work for some time now on Instagram and I wanted to expand upon the CGI world that people knew me for in my album Hollywood Killed Tara Reid. My previous videos focused less on story and more on aesthetic so I wanted to give the kids a bit of a story book this time around.
moon then envisions that driver, driving into them, in them. We travel from the clouds to a darker, midnight blue landscape of cacti and hilly rocks, wound through by a road lined and lit by neon radiating bricks of yellow, orange, and blue. The driver is also blue, periwinkle and almost elven, a somber contemplative version of Speed Racer. The driver enters moon as the video game, and rides inside moon as the car and they lap races along the track, flashing through circles of neon lights, until they hit a corner too hard, careen and spin midair together in freefall.
You mentioned this project built off some of the visuals of your previous work, what was your favorite part about making this new album?
My favorite part is always the writing aspect and being able to build a song and harmonies in the studio. Working towards a song coming to being can become a really forceful presence in my life.
In building this song, universe, album what do you hope people will experience? Is there a best way to experience it?
Yours Truly is a song of like, romantic reverie for sure but so much of this work is about how much I miss the club, I miss my friends, I need to pound the ground in response to an awesome set at my favorite party. So I hope this can give a little bit of release for people. With Yours Truly, you can sink into your tub but the rest of this album, I hope you dance, Miss Womack.
As the race car cuts from twirling,
in place of a lock of hair, or tear
moon sheds a single pale green feather
towards the expectant hand of the unhelmeted racer,
eyes closed, holding one hand to their chest, the other open.
I have been looking for an opportunity to expand my poetry/writing. I'm curious, how did you end up thinking of me to do this interview with you?
I just have always thought of you as a process person in a way? Like you posting all your artist process and concept inspos I was like oh she would be a good person who is familiar with me to pick my brain a bit.
Yes! I adore talking with artists about their process. It was meant to be. I am so grateful, thank you moon baby for doing this interview with me and sharing your process, new music, and this beautiful video.
Watch Moon Baby’s new video Yours Turly here ︎