Is SEASICK MAMA an elaborate Madonna?

by Jack McGovern 

Seasick Mama, the alter ego of singer, songwriter, performer, and model Marial Eve Moon, plays an inspiring brand of orchestral indie pop that is hard to define with its many varying influences. Her music is very loose and unselfconscious, with its ecstatic vocals, expressive lyrics, and danceable riffs. Marial has no qualms about being in the spotlight and embraces many forms of self-expression within her music. In part, its power derives from her lack of sensitivity and brazen attitude. Many “seminal” bands- I use this hesitantly since, as Chuck Klosterman wrote, no band can be seminal in the way that food or water is- become iconic due to their lack of adherence to musical trends or for their break from a tradition. Seasick Mama is hard to categorize, and that may be why her music works so well.

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Your about page says that you “will not be bound by the conventions of the day.” Would you like to elaborate on this at all? Also, how do you think it relates to both your music and the some of the more multimedia aspects of your work?

I was raised around trial and error. Always testing my boundaries to see what I could get away with. I have carried that ambitious but also rebellious personality with me into my music career. But now success is the motive. If I keep things offbeat and informal, I know I will survive…just like my folks did.  [Her italics (as elsewhere), not mine]

A lot of artists, particularly in the “indie” world, tend to downplay the more multimedia aspects of their music whereas you seem to fully embrace it. Do you think there’s a false humility involved in that tendency to downplay the image-based aspects of making and promoting music?

Back in the 1990’s, things were not as complex. If you wanted to see a picture of Madonna strewn across some silk sheets, you had to go buy that magazine, or wait for it to show up on MTV. She was an icon, not only because her music was epic, but because her image was everywhere.

Now, you can publish images from your cell phone. Images are easily forgotten. I embrace this image-based aspect of promoting music simply, to keep up. I love getting my photo taken because, to be frank, I am only going to look this good for so long…I promote my music through images, but I also promote sexuality, positivity, and generally the freedom of generation.

You covered Frank Ocean’s “Lost.” Besides an obvious interest in his music, was there any other motivation for choosing to cover one of his songs?

I really loved the song “Lost”…I was motivated to sing this song because I am still such a lost human being. At 21, I thought I had it all figured out. Then at 24, I was going to get married, and though I had it all figured out. Now, at 27, I am more lost then I have ever been.

The video for the Frank Ocean cover features shots in a classic New York loft as well as some shots of the skyline. Do you see yourself, in any way, as a part of the history of NY’s music scene?

Absolutely not. I am in no way shape or form a part of NY musical history. I just got started. I can only dream and pray, that I create something cool enough that people will remember once my time passes.

With another cover of a Tom Waits song, it’s obvious that you’re influenced by a wide array of different music. Do you make a conscious effort to try to blur genres or is it not so simple of a process?

When I did the Tom Waits cover, I was writing my first EP, Dead Like Money. Dead Like Money has a more grungy vibe. You can tell what I was listening too. I did the Frank Ocean over when I was writing my upcoming sophomore record, Tip Top Shape (due out in September) … so you can only image what it’s going to sound like. I am not necessarily blurring genres…I am exploring.

Any other advice you’d like to give to the youths of the U.S. (besides, of course, &ldquoquit your job&rdquo)?

The message of “Quit Your Job” is easily mistranslated. I am not saying drop everything and quit…I am trying to embrace the idea that, if you don’t love your job you must find something else…It’s so cliché, but life passes you by at lightning speed, and one day you are going to wake up old and exhausted playing that “what if” game.