Ten years after the release of her last album, Mandy Moore re
Ten years after the release of her last album, Mandy Moore released a new single titled “When I Wasn’t Watching.” It was a long discussed return to music, which many thought would never come to fruition.
Though most think of Moore as an actress first, she actually entered public consciousness through music. Before taking on any of her now iconic film performances, she was signed to Epic Records and released her debut single, “Candy,” at just 15 years old. It was a bubble-gum pop track appropriate for someone her age.
As she grew older, Moore’s musical style shifted. She drifted from overt pop tunes, settling into the adult contemporary space and taking on more rock influences. At the same time, her star profile grew with outstanding film and TV roles, most notably her performance in the 2002 romantic drama, “A Walk to Remember.”
But after releasing her sixth album, “Amanda Leigh,” Moore went silent on the music front. She released songs through soundtracks, such as for the Disney animated movie “Tangled” in which she voiced Rapunzel, and she sings pretty regularly on the hit NBC drama “This Is Us.” But despite repeatedly mentioning working on music in interviews, nothing seemed to materialize.
Earlier this year, fans got a reason why. As reported in a New York Times piece, Moore parted ways with her manager around the same time that she married rock musician Ryan Adams. She became a victim of his toxic behaviors towards female musicians, and her music career stalled, totally lost under Adams’ control.
In addition to not producing her music, Adams ate away at Moore’s confidence. She told the New York Times, “He would always tell me, ‘You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument.’” Adams continues to deny her characterization of their marriage and other women’s claims of his inappropriate behavior. Adams and Moore divorced in 2016.
These lost years are a pivotal time in a musician’s life. While many teen artists find huge success, it is the ability to transition in their mid-twenties that solidifies their career and fan-base. Moore lost that crucial period and is now looking to rebuild.
The new single “When I Wasn’t Watching,” is a great way to catch up her fans. It captures exactly where she is now, a decade after her last album and two decades after she entered the music industry.
The song is a ’70s California nostalgia trip, perfectly capturing a refined essence of that classic rock period. It feels reflective, yet authoritative. It is breathy but assured. It is a delightful combination of pop and soft rock, a down tempo Haim deep cut.
The song discusses how in turbulent periods of our lives, we can change rapidly. We can become someone unrecognizable to even ourselves and find ourselves in places we never expected. When things slow down again, we can take a step back, look around and ask, “How have my experiences guided me to here?”
This song is only the beginning of Moore’s return to music. She has been working with her new husband Taylor Goldsmith, the lead singer of Dawes, and Grammy-nominated music producer Mike Viola to create a new ’70s inspired album. Moore has said that the new music is very personal and live-sounding. There is no official release date or title for the album yet.