Moana Lutton doesn’t want to be just “another girl with an acoustic guitar”.
And given the Hamilton Hill local has of late been enticing music-goers with her earnest, raw and hypnotic live solo shows she may be on the right track.
“I try not to compare myself to anyone else playing or doing the similar thing,” she told the Herald.
“You need to do what is right for you and if it sounds the same as everyone else, you’re probably not going to get that far. But if you happen to have a unique sound than you should use it.
“I would never try and change anything I do to reach a certain level of fame or anything like that.”
The 23-year-old says she also has no plans to be the folksy gal who “writes songs about how she feels”.
“When I first started writing, I was writing on acoustic and it was general folk—pretty lame stuff, which I think everyone goes through.
“But now different influences have changed the way I write.
“It’s all magical—it’s out of everyday life. I draw inspirations from myths, animals, nature, dreams, things that aren’t real at all. It’s alway related to me how I feel but it’s not obvious.
“The way I express that is maybe different to normal love songs.”
When not belting out her psychedelic, grungy-blues songs by herself, Lutton can be seen beefing it up with the three-piece Moana.
The singer/songwriter describes the band’s sound as a “bundle of contradictions”. The trio’s now bunkering down in a studio with some well-oiled musicians to record their debut song Days in the Cage.
“I had an idea of the sound I wanted but didn’t know how to play it yet, so the guy I was working with brought it to life,” Lutton says. “I had it in my head in a way and needed to nurture it myself through exploring everything I guess. I had an idea of what influences I wanted to string together but didn’t know how to say it in words.”
Lutton is also part of the young emerging local theatre collective Wet Weather Ensemble.
As well as acting in the troupe’s fledging piece Bird Boy, she composed some of its music and dabbled in puppetry. The artist likes to incorporate theatre’s experimental playfulness to her live shows.
“I studied theatre so I’m into dressing up and performing when ever I can,” she says. “I love combining theatre with live music.
“The night of the grand final at Clancy’s I dressed up like Frida Kahlo—my hair was massive, I painted my lips bright purple, and draped myself in this purple wing thing.”
Moana’s next musical outing is today (November 9) as part of the Norfolk Lanes Youth Festival.
It will be boasting the likes of Bass Reflex, Tashi, Grrl Pal, Water Graves, Villain, Mad Rabbit, The Liarbirds, Connor Minervini, Claudia and Ebony Tero and many more. The festival—back for its fifth year—is billed as the “celebration of the next wave of Fremantle talent”. Previous bands to grace its stage include Tame Impala—now up for a swag of Aria awards—and San Cisco, who are up for two.
Lutton is itching to mix it with some of the port city’s best up and comers: “Yep, very much so,” she smiles. “I’m looking forward to getting amongst in Freo.”
by JENNY D’ANGER