Moir is the stage name of Sarah Moir, a songwriter from West London. Last year she released her debut single 'The Truth Is', garnering widespread praise, and today she returns with a superb follow up, 'I Can't Bleed'.

Drawing on some of her darkest and toughest memories, 'I Can't Bleed' is a crystalline statement of pain and rebirth from Moir. It's built around a powerful chorus of harmonies, inspired from her days in the school choir, which make the song grandiose and arresting from the first moment to the last. It's surprising to hear that 'I Can't Bleed' started as a voice note on her phone that came to her while waiting on Liverpool Street Station during her morning commute. It was then taken into the studio with partner in crime, producer Ewan Phillips, where they would make it into the superb version we're premiering today. It's a deeply compelling track, that truly shows off the young talent's musical and emotional range.

We were curious about the process of making this song, so Moir was kind enough to answer some questions about it for us.

What was going through your mind when you made that voice note at Liverpool Street Station?

I’d just got off the tube where’d I’d had a long time to stew over my thoughts and how I was feeling. Coming out into the light and the big open station was like a release and everything that I’d been thinking about just sort of came out. I can vividly remember looking at the giant clock in the station as I was singing what is now the first verse. I was feeling quite overwhelmed in the busyness of the station, amongst all of the morning commuters and in general by life, and I think that in those situations singing and songwriting is a way of anchoring myself.

I had a lot on my mind and was in a very bad depression as a result of the trauma I had experienced (I didn’t realise this was why I was depressed at the time). I was feeling very alone in my thoughts. I had recently opened up to a few people about how I’d been feeling and it had left me feeling worse as I was left in my darkness with no one to support me. Basically, just as I was walking off the tube I had the image of my emotions flowing out of me like blood, with no one to close up or heal the wound, because that’s what it felt like. It felt like people were happy to help me open the wound, but they weren’t willing to stick around, or it wasn’t realistic or healthy for them to. And that’s where the hook came from.

What was the journey and process of taking the song from that point to the final product?

After recording my voice note in Liverpool Street station, I then took this to the studio where my producer Ewan Phillips and I developed it. After I initially brought the first verse to him, I just ad-libbed some harmonies for the hook, and that’s how the intro was born. Layered vocals then became heavily part of my sound and my tracks are all very vocally driven. I think my background in gospel is a big reason for my love of harmonies and I think this comes through in my music. I then developed the chorus out of the intro, with most of the song stemming from that initial hook I wrote at the station. It was like the harmonies were my emotions, building and building and building. The more harmonies, the more emotional it sounded and the more it sounded how I was feeling. We didn’t know if it would turn into anything at this point. The purpose of what we were doing was really to help me find my sound as an artist. Ewan sketched out the production as we went along and I wrote the rest in response to his production. The actual writing of the song was pretty quick, with all the parts being written basically straight off the cuff.

Making this song was a huge turning point for me and a very liberating process. I was hearing for the first time who I was as an artist. It was how I found my sound. The journey was also quite heartbreaking at times, and when things were taking a while to get right, it felt like a part of me wasn’t quite right. As the track is so personal and deep, it was very difficult to separate my emotions from it and every hurdle wounded me. I remember getting a particular mix back and crying because I felt like what was great about the track had been ruined and sabotaged. I think it was particularly hard because it’s my first time doing this, so I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally intense it would be. Working on music isn’t like other work because your music is a part of you, and when you care about something that much, things can get messy.

How has finishing the song changed your perspective on its meaning?

This is tricky because I’m in a different head space now, but I still ultimately feel the same way. However, instead of feeling defeated by the fact that no one can be there for you 24/7, I’ve realised that having to be there for yourself can be a good thing. I’m a lot more into developing my relationship with myself now and don’t view the fact that you have to be there for yourself as a negative. Before I always thought that if you found yourself having to support yourself emotionally, then it meant that you were alone, but now I think it’s just a natural part of being a human and actually a really important and beautiful part. Finishing the song and listening to it back was a bit of a shock in the sense that it made me realise how sad I was when I wrote it. I hadn’t realised this at the time, and I think that when you’re writing you’re not necessarily fully conscious of what it’s about. It’s just how you’re feeling at the time. So reflecting back on it was a bit sad and eye opening in equal measures, but it has got out the emotions I needed to get out and now I feel that I can move on from those feelings. My perspective is different, but I’m painfully aware that I could go back to that place.


Listen to Moir's 'I Can't Bleed' below.

Both 'I Can't Bleed' and 'The Truth Is' will be on Moir's debut EP, coming later this year. For updates on that, follow her on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.