Jason Mraz, Paul Simon
Charismatic, quirky, emo-pop
" Soulful melancholy to a spaced-out beat. "
Made in Ireland but very at home in France, Barry Moore left behind young dreams of being a full-time footballer to play music on the streets. He started out busking on Dublin’s famous Grafton Street — the musical heartland that birthed the likes of The Frames, Paddy Casey, Damien Rice and Rodrigo Y Gabriella — as a teenager.
It was giving up on that scene and moving to France, via London, that launched Moore’s career. He’d put aside dreams of a career in music before things turned around, with “Hey Now” launching him into the French mainstream. While he gathered TV appearances and mass radio play, his homeland remained largely oblivious to his progress.
The wishful, jaunty buzz of “Hey Now” is an effortless summer number with a pulsing tang to its love-hurt lyrics and a beautiful slowed-down bridge. The Lost Boys EP does plenty to showcase Moore, though, both his quirky songwriting style and unique vocals.
“The Little Things” is aimed at a love interest, too: a spaced-out, beat-driven pop song that seems to pour it’s emotion deep into the soaring choruses. “Lost Boys” showcases a light falsetto; a hooky, repetitive track that lodges easily in the brain.
“My music is inspired by the approach of my preferred artists (from Biggie Smalls to Bob Dylan) and my desire to communicate real and relevant messages through my lyrics,” Moore says. “I want to improve social welfare and raise awareness around issues like global warming, exclusive politics, social awareness and inclusiveness.”
Moore was always likely to be around music, even if he had stepped away from his early dreams. Perhaps his eventual rise came off the back of persistence: on moving to France, he’d taken a job with a music streaming company, but not as an artist.
It was producer Maxim Nucci who changed everything, turning a chance meeting with Moore into a record deal with Sony in Ireland and Columbia in France. Moore hasn’t forgotten his roots, though.
The video for single “Hey Now” flits around the factories and housing estates of Drogheda, a colourfully-built nod to where it all started. It features tunes outside the supermarket, knocks on the GAA field, and lots of family and friends.
Moore’s from a musical family. It might have taken a trip across Europe to secure the recognition his work deserved, but home still pours effortlessly through his sound.