Alison Moyet

To celebrate 40 years as a solo artist, Alison Moyet releases Key, a collection of 16 reworked singles and deep cuts, alongside two brand new tracks

It is, says Alison Moyet, quite remarkable to think that she’s been singing for “some serious years”. She formed her first band at 16 in Basildon, was in Yazoo at 20 and released her first solo album Alf at 23. In the four decades since Alf, Moyet’s solo work has been defined not only by her refusal to repeat herself, but by that extraordinary voice: still recognisable in an instant, still capable of stopping you in your tracks, a voice big enough to fill a stadium and yet intimate enough to make you feel as though she’s singing just for you.

Key is a blazing showcase of the depth and breadth of Moyet’s song writing ability that unlocks who she is as a creative artist. With nine studio solo albums to choose from to celebrate her fortieth year as a solo artist, Moyet wanted “to look at the trajectory of those decades and explore songs that, in their original form, were never fully realised or have had their relevance to me altered by time.”

There are inevitably certain songs Moyet won’t sing again simply because they “don’t resonate with me anymore.” Perhaps because she was on the cusp of adulthood when she originally sang them or hadn’t yet had her heart broken. Perhaps they are cover songs that she “doesn’t recognise as part of my language now.” No matter: for Key she took to the studio with Sean McGhee, her long-standing musical director for live shows and producer and arranger across all the songs on the new album. It was a gargantuan task which included readdressing fan favourites such as Love Resurrection and All Cried Out, both from Alf. Meanwhile, Is This Love?, from the 1986 album Raindancing, co-written with Dave Stewart and featured in the BAFTA-nominated film All of Us Strangers, has been reworked as a giant shimmering ballad.

In Yazoo, Moyet largely wrote on her own, with the exception of Situation and State Farm, which were crafted with Vince Clarke. As a solo artist, she has collaborated with myriad songwriters and producers. Working with Steve Jolley and Tony Swain on Alf was “a new and interesting experience unhindered by the burden of experience”, but it was her significant work with Pete Glenister that would identify her melodic and lyrical imperatives as a solo artist. “Pete is a supremely talented fellow who constructs sublime chord progressions and is a truly fine writer.” The Insects, producers of 2002’s Hometime, later created a perfect sound bed to showcase the Moyet/Glenister songs. “That was my first personal experience of finding synergy on an album; it was an important career shape shifter.”

It was, however, with Guy Sigsworth that Moyet found her perfect foil. “In many ways he has been reward for my dogged endurance. I’m totally unbound when working with Guy. He writes tracks that I then write songs to. No ‘what to do?’ No preamble. A creative trust. We allow each our own language.” The two albums made with Sigsworth – the minutes from 2013 and Other from 2017 – Moyet considers highlights of her career. Key includes two reworkings from those records, All Signs of Life and Filigree. “My work with Guy needed to be referenced, but didn’t demand alteration. That said, Sean has arranged an exquisite take on Filigree quite unlike all the rest. It’s a song about perseverance, which is really quite fitting.”

The two new songs on Key – the lavish Such Small Ale and exquisite pop of The Impervious Me – were written respectively with Sean McGhee and co-writers Richard Oakes and John Garden. “I wanted to write the new material with Sean because so very much of him is on Key. He produced and arranged all 18 tracks. A ridiculous polymath.”

With touring stalled by the lockdown years – Moyet enrolled at Brighton University and graduated with a first-class degree in Fine Art Printmaking BA (Hons) in the summer of 2023 – she is keen to take Key on the road. “Live work really matters to me,” she says. “I can’t dial in a performance. I love the physical feeling that singing gives me. It’s totally primal and euphoric. On stage I remember how to connect with myself.”

Key distils 40 years of music making, presenting a cohesive overview of a long and dazzling journey.  “I hope this collection will be the key to those unopened doors. Let yourself in.”

Tour dates

Sorry, there are no tour dates available at this time. Please check the artist’s website for more information.