Eliza Moore has been making music since she was a toddler growing up on a horse farm in Vermont. Her childhood was all about choirs, orchestras and chamber groups. During a European tour in college, Eliza says she realized for better or for worse, her life’s purpose was to be a musician.
I’ve been listening to Eliza’s music for a while now, but her brand new release, Brilliance, inspired me to write a word or two about her, hopefully inspiring some of you to check out this artist if you have not already.
Here’s how I met Eliza: I was at the library with my girl, Babe, who couldn’t have been more than two at the time. I noticed a woman with jet-black hair, sparkling eyes and a red T-shirt. She was American. She was a singer and a yoga teacher and I was eves dropping. There was something about this woman that was so captivating. Otherworldly. Or maybe it’s just that she looks more than a little like Jennifer Connolly in the movie Labyrinth. I can say this stuff now without feeling too creepy because I’m blessed to count her as a dear friend.
That day in the library, Babe was running, even though you don’t run in the library. She fell and before I could get to her, a small, blonde angel about her age did. He held out a hand to help her up. It was no surprise that this little guy was raised by that radiant woman. Our kids became friends and Babe seems to be a little smitten three years later.
This boy’s gesture of lending a hand to help up a stranger, is kind of the epitome of who his mother is. Eliza is warm and generous. She’s a free spirit, spiritual and creative. Happy, hopeful, deep and complex. Eliza is love. And her newest album, Brilliance, which she fittingly released on the International Day of Peace, is all these things.
The 14-song digital-only release includes brand new tracks, and new versions of previously released songs. She says she broke a lot of rules releasing these tracks together. It might be hard to count all the people whose work went into this project. It’s Eliza and a melange of producers, sound engineers and musicians. Eliza plays some of the guitar parts, and the violin and all the voice. Some of the vocals was recorded in her Montreal basement, others in New York and Los Angeles.
She says the idea to release these songs in this way, came to her post meditation. “I broke all the rules releasing these tracks together,” she says. “But felt lead to do it from meditation insights.”
Eliza gives big props to her friend Lulu for recently encouraging her commit to a daily meditation practice, admitting that no, not all yoga teachers are in the habit. She says Lulu also pointed her in the direction of Rebecca Campbell’s visualizations.
“Through Rebecca’s visualizations I re-found and am re-finding the power of stillness,” says this busy mom of two. “A true and poignant clarity comes to me when I give myself the space and time to meditate and to open to a sense or feeling of the collective.”
She says it was at one of these moments where she decided to create this compilation record for peace, and at the same moment she realized that these works had grown out of moments of peace.
“Not moments in which I had intended to meditate or surrender into stillness,” she says. “But moments that had almost come to me from life… I like to call them enforced stillness.”
I really love this whole album, and have already added a few songs to my yoga class playlist for the week. My definite favourites include the title track Brilliance, Anointed and Kiss the Heart. I found an earlier recording of Kiss the Heart on SoundCloud ages ago. Eliza told me it was inspired by a quote from her boy, who just turned six. “When it’s dark, will you kiss the heart?” She wrote the song when she was pregnant with her daughter. Her husband and son left for the weekend and Eliza had time alone for the first time in years. She had time to meditate and write. She wrote Kiss the Heart that weekend, and recorded it on piano. The kids and I fell asleep to that lullaby many a night.
When the new recording of Kiss the Heart came on in the car in our way to pick apples, Babe said, “I’m too shy to say this to her face, but could you text Eliza and say that she has the prettiest voice and I’ve never heard a voice that was prettier.”
I did text her that message and also wrote it here because I might just agree with my 5.5 year old.
If releasing an album with multiple producers and sound engineers is breaking the rules, I think Eliza is on to something. Her voice (the sound that comes out of her mouth, but also her whole vision, her whole being) is strong enough that the album absolutely is cohesive. It’s complete and perfect.
You can buy Brilliance here on iTunes. It can also be found on amazon, spotify and other streaming services.