Alex Ward released an EP entitled Moon Holiday in 2011. She didn’t suspect that her mastering guy would then hook her up with leading record label Future Classic. Neither did she foresee co-writing Insane with Flume and winning an FBi radio trip to Iceland in 2012, or performing at the ARIA Awards last year. Under the moniker, Moon Holiday, Ward’s sound is all dreamy vocals and slow beats. She has a new single, Rid U, which you can hear live when she tours the country with Cassius Select next month.
Broadsheet: You seem to have moved on from the typical Moon Holiday Sound with Rid U?
Alex Ward: I got sick of a lot of the old stuff I used to listen to and used to make. A lot of changes occurred as well as a loss of innocence in my life. I went, “Fuck it, what am I really trying to say?” The message is ambiguous as well as being this existential angst that has been brewing for a long time and I wanted to give that more of a voice by putting it with harder, faster music.
BS: Who are you ridding yourself of?
AW: It could have been anybody, but sometimes a person just seems to be a catalyst. The question in the song is about finding out at what point does lust become devotion, at what point is an emotion an obsession? It could mean anything. It could mean I want to be “rid” of just something, anything.
Winning an FBi competition took you to Iceland in 2012 to team-up with [our favourite] Northern trio, Samaris, what was that trip like?
It was so great in Reykjavik working with [Samaris] in their beautiful studio - there’s an unearthly feeling that exists there under this huge sky. But all of the texts that they use are actually ancient Icelandic poems and I feel like their music comes directly from their landscape and their history - so even if you wanted to emulate it, it would be quite hard to force that feeling.
BS: What are you listening to at the moment?
AW: A lot of hyper-dub stuff and FKA Twigs as well as local stuff that I like. It’s sick that I’m going on tour with Cassius Select [who is also one-third of local outfit, Black Vanilla] because I really love that dark vibe and I love that it comes from around the place where I live, Redfern. I’ve always loved stuff like Aphex Twin and Autechre too – those kind of left-field electronic geniuses.
BS: How will your beat match with Cassius Select’s fast pace when you tour with him this month?
AW: I’m trying to get to a point where I can dance more and queen-out more. I want to have more of a space to be a witch, really, and cast a spell. But I am a little intimidated because Cassius Select’s music is heavier than mine and I hope to be playing before him, not after. Before this interview, I just booked extra practises in and it is good for me. I need deadlines and I need pressure.
Moon Holiday will play in Melbourne with Cassius Select on Friday September 12 at Shebeen.