Singer Lisa Moorish was first told she looked like American poet Sylvia Plath around 20 years ago and ‘Sylvia’ is the first single from Lisa’s forthcoming album, ‘Divine Chaos’, out on Out Yer Box — the sister label to Jack Said What.
Lisa Moorish: “When I saw one particular photo, it was like looking in the mirror. It's insane. She’s an American blonde from Boston, and I’m a mixed-race Brit hailing from Brixton, South London. I was taken aback, obviously.
“Although I knew who Sylvia Plath was, and mostly the tragic side of her life, I wasn’t that familiar with her works or her personal story. And the more I read about her, her poetry and her classic novel The Bell Jar, the more I realised how much we had in common. We share many parallels in relation to her somewhat unfortunate loves and losses, and her mental illness too, along with areas in the UK and Paris that we both have links to. All of this was a huge inspiration for this song.”
“Sylvia, where do I end and you begin?” Lisa sings, before explaining how she has drawn strength from learning about the life of her doppelgänger over the years.
Lisa Moorish: “She lived in different times… and although it's supposedly a modern world with regards to women being equal in relationships, when you’re an incurable romantic and the creative type, in the public domain, it often leads to being over-shadowed by the men you have relationships with. Especially if they are even more known and revered in the public domain.
“We also share quite a lonely, naïve outlook and yearning for love… to meet 'the one’, to really fully exist and feel complete. And sadly Sylvia didn't survive that, or her depression, pain and loneliness. I have learnt from this, I guess… learnt that I am valid, I am enough, and I don’t need what I always yearned for in my younger years to experience joy and happiness.”
Another probable parallel between their two disparate lives is that Lisa was recently diagnosed with ADHD. “And I strongly suspect that Sylvia Plath may also have been a neuro-divergent,” she adds.
The alternative pop song has been remixed by David Holmes. The Belfast artist has produced albums for the likes of Primal Scream, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Sinead O’Connor (to be released in 2024), as well as scoring numerous film soundtracks and releasing six artist albums, the latest of which — ‘Blind On A Galloping Horse’ — has just been released by Heavenly Recordings.
David takes his remix of ‘Sylvia’ down a dubbed-out, percussive route, with gentle use of a 303 acid squelch and some fine cinematic synth-work. Lisa likens the leftfield rework to something that the late, great Andrew Weatherall might have done.
‘Divine Chaos’ is Lisa’s first solo album for more than 20 years. The name derives from a play that she was in, The Divine Chaos Of Starry Things, where she took the lead role as the French Revolutionary, Louis Michel. The play's title and one of its themes is reflected in one of the album’s songs too - ‘This Chaos Is Divine’.
Lisa Moorish: “I came from the acid house and techno scene when I started out aged 17. And it's like a second shot at it, without the destruction, distractions, addictions, bullshit and giving a fuck what others think or say about me.”
Irvine Welsh: “Lisa has a heart the size of the sun, which she's fearless about wearing on her sleeve, absorbing all the joy and all the knocks that come with the courage to live your life to the full, and on your own terms. We're fortunate that she's now refracted this experience through the lens of her beautiful, indomitable soul, onto a completely amazing and irresistible record.”