I first heard Abra Moore about five years ago when she opened for the amazing David Baerwald at a small club here in Nashville. She had a kind of shy quirkiness to her stage presence and between song banter, and her songs really captivated an audience that was mainly there for someone else. As I recall, it was just she and her guitar on stage and the songs really held up on their own without a full band to round out the sound.
I was very excited to hear her latest release, On The Way, from Seattle's Sarathan Records. However, it's not the quirky, eclectic album I was expecting. This new release of hers is a little weird. I love it but upon first listen, I felt myself not quite giving it a fair shake. It's got a very professional production to it and doesn't seem to be as adventurous a release as I might have expected. But to make the cheap references, if you like Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Edie Brickell (especially on "I Believe") and/or Nashville's own Fleming and John, then I'd put this one right up with those artists' best releases. Here and there, I'll hear a lyric that doesn't quite live up to my expectations and overall the song structures sometimes feel a bit safe and sleepy, but then I find myself falling in love with the sweet and sensual production of songs like "On The Way" or "Sorry."
There is so much more to these songs than a first listen will reveal. A soft, quiet night with no interruptions is perfect for Abra Moore's intimate yearnings and acoustic rhythms. Songs like "You" or "Birthday Song" bring to mind the thought that they would serve as perfect companions to Sofia Coppola-type films. Dreamy and loving, unassumingly embracing the listener, they reward you with their absolute beauty.
I guess On The Way dances somewhere between background music whatever the next step up from that is. Go to her site and listen to three or four of her songs for free. I'd say she's a curious artist who is well worth hearing at any opportunity. She sounds on the verge of being absolutely amazing.