The video for ‘By the Sea’ uses the clever visual device of an old-fashioned View Master to create an aching sense of nostalgia, perfectly in keeping with the song. The single is taken from ‘The Party’s Over’, Emily Moment’s long-awaited new album, which comes a full ten years after her acclaimed debut, ‘Never Enough‘. The song features Moment’s graceful, melodic vocal, lyrics full of arresting images and displays her excellent songcraft. Moment says of the album and new video: “‘By The Sea’ is a travelling song; a love letter that describes the feeling of being locked in place for too long and craving a seismic change. Born on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, I start to itch when I’ve been away from the sea for more than a few months. A salty harbour is so very grounding for me, a mortality check, a reminder that there are so few things I truly need in life. The potential to lose ourselves in the material life crops up as a theme more than once on the album, certainly adding fuel to this track. The last year has been a good time to take stock of what’s really important, so the sentiment still feels deeply relevant.
‘The Party’s Over’ is heavily inspired by the 1970’s Americana aesthetic. Joan Didion hosting barefoot dinner parties in Malibu; Linda Ronstadt in knee socks and roller skates; Tom Waits in a seedy neon diner; a muted rainbow of mustard yellow, and burnt orange and turquoise. In 2019, I visited Croatia and stayed in a hotel which felt like a place that time forgot. I shot hours of footage there which I knew would be perfect for ‘By The Sea,’ long before I ever thought the track would be a single. The kids jumping off the diving platforms is the spirit of the song in its purest distillation. Playing with the joy of travel and the nostalgia of that faded aesthetic in the video resulted in such feel-good imagery for me and I hope that translates on a broader scale.
The cover artwork for ‘By The Sea’ (variations of which are featured in the music video) actually captures that very moment in the final verse of the song. That is Cefalu. That is the bench, 2nd from the left, and that is where I finished the lyrics. Currently, it feels like the world is living in the 1st verse of the song, so I’m looking forward to progressing to the 3rd.”
As a member of bands The Savannahs and Mahoney & The Moment, the Massachusetts-born singer-songwriter has been bringing the Americana of her native country to UK audiences for many years. She was also one of the organisers of the regular Chalk Farm Folk concert series, which celebrated roots music in all its forms. Indeed, the new album was recorded with many of the people Moment met during those Chalk Farm evenings. Matt Ingram, Laura Marling’s drummer, makes an appearance on the album, which was mixed by Dan Cox (Laura Marling, Tom Odell, The Staves). The result is confident and elegant. Enjoy.