- 18 Sep 23
Keeley Moss discusses her brilliant new indie-pop collection, Floating Above Everything Else.
The saga of Keeley Moss is one of resilience and originality, laden with hindrances and setbacks. Despite this, Keeley’s debut album Floating Above Everything Else didn’t take long to sell out in record stores across her native Dublin.
The polished and standalone piece of shoegaze storytelling has brought the Dublin native a feeling of vindication above all else.
“I’m happy to be able to speak my truth and allow someone else's truth to speak through me,” she says. “The number of times that I was thwarted upon the path to this point, there’s a lovely feeling of being vindicated when you’ve given it everything.”
The sound of her heroes seeps into her debut, which glitters with a dream-pop aesthetic.
“It's my modus operandi, bliss out, don't miss out,” she smiles. “One of the reasons I make music is to get lost in what's coming out of the amplifier. It’s the sheer love of the glory of noise and being able to weave sonic threads and create a musical tapestry.”
That’s where the peer influence ends.
What makes Moss’s art so original is the dedication of her songs to a singular muse. Perhaps what’s even more striking is the fact that this individual is someone she will never meet – Inge Maria Hauser, a German teenager who was murdered while visiting Northern Ireland in 1988.
Why this case has consumed her is something Moss herself is still trying to get her head around.
“I've tried probing it over the years, I've given 50 reasons and all of them are true, but all of them are only part of the puzzle,” she says. “To this day, it’s still the only instance of a sexually motivated murder of a tourist in Northern Ireland. The way that she was arriving in Northern Ireland at a time when the region was rife with bloodshed struck me instantly. I thought it was incredibly brave and quite rock and roll actually.
“I could easily write about myself. But it's not as interesting as giving a platform to someone who's not able to tell their story. It allows me to burrow a hole into the past and conjure up a sense of what it was like.”
While her singular approach results in a rewardingly idiosyncratic listening experience, being a trailblazer is never easy. Moss is constantly facing trials because of her unique approach.
“It's a brilliant challenge because I could write about anything, yet I choose to write exclusively about one subject,” she notes. “It gives me a focal point and keeps me on track. The other thing is that because it limits me, I've had to work even harder as a songwriter to avoid those limitations impacting upon the quality of the songs.”
Alongside songwriting, navigating Ireland’s music industry presented its own set of difficulties. Regardless of these setbacks, Moss’s never-say-die attitude led her to London's Dimple Discs label, where she’s now rubbing shoulders with her musical idols.
“I’m a singular cat. I couldn't find like minded people because there are no like minded people. I faced a kind of blanket ignorance from the music press in Ireland,” she says. “When the pandemic struck, I went full throttle online and I was getting a lot of airplay. The head of Dimple Discs, Brian O'Neill, came across me trying to promote myself on Twitter and saw I wasn't getting a look-in in my own country. It was a really good time to sign to Dimple Discs and an honour, being a huge fan of Microdisney and Cathal Coughlan.”
Having finally broken ground and found her tribe overseas, Keeley Moss is ferociously determined to continue sharing Inge Maria’s story through her music.
“I don't slow down, I don't give up," she says. "I keep going. I'm the musical equivalent of the Duracell bunny! It’s been wonderful to embark upon this creative journey that I intend to stay on, and release a new album every year for the rest of my life.
Floating Above Everything Else is out now.
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