Pensacola, Florida
Friday April 26th 2019


Southern Vibes

By Stephanie Sharp

This weekend, the streets of downtown Mobile will be brought to life with this year’s SouthSounds Music and Arts Festival. The three-day event is packed with more than 75 different musicians and bands who will perform across various music venues and outdoor public stages. The lineup focuses mostly on up-and-coming and independent acts that push the boundaries of what the South has to offer in music and arts, with musicians spanning genres like Americana, country, bluegrass, R&B and hip-hop. There are also plenty of indie bands making their way back to Mobile for the festival, including Of Montreal and Surfer Blood.

With the aim to promote the “fun and quirky flavor of the South,” SouthSounds will also feature arts and cultural activities for all ages, plus a few networking events sprinkled in for good measure, all the while showing off downtown Mobile.

The April 2018 LoDa ArtWalk will happen Friday night in conjunction with the festival as well as an Arts & Crafts Market on Saturday and Sunday featuring one-of-a-kind pieces produced by local artisans, organized by the Mobile Arts Council. Several ongoing art demonstrations will let festival-goers experience the artistic processes of sculpture, glassblowing, mural painting and pottery throwing.

In addition to the arts and live music, SouthSounds and Dauphin Street Sound will present a series of informative music business discussion panels to help up-and-coming musicians learn how to take their careers to the next level or to educate anyone who wants to learn more about the business side of the music industry. There will also be a music industry networking happy hour at the Dauphin Street Sound recording studio, moderated by Jared “Jay B.” Boyd.  Startup Weekend Mobile 2018 will also be happening at The Steeple on St. Francis throughout SouthSounds weekend.

Live music really is the main draw of SouthSounds though and one of acts Inweekly is stoked to see on the lineup is genre-agnostic vocalist Love Moor. She resists labeling her sound and instead emphasizes the experience she wants her listeners to have.

“It’s a lot of a little bit of everything,” said Love Moor. “It’s gonna be a vibe and they’re gonna enjoy themselves.”

Love Moor is a singer-songwriter working out of Birmingham, Ala.. She said that she’s often struck with inspiration randomly and will stop to capture soon-to-be lyrics in a notebook, which she later cleans up into finished tracks.

“It’s real organic. I think it’s hard to plan creativity.”

She brings the same type of natural process to her performances. After performing at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, she joins other Southern musicians at SouthSounds and has her audience top of mind. She recognizes that festivals bring together crowds that might not be there to see her perform in particular, but she aims to fold them into a great performance like she would a crowd of familiar faces in a local venue or smaller show.

“I’m teaching people how this is the vibe and we’re gonna do this together,” said Love Moor.

The focus on Southern arts and music at SouthSounds is a different dynamic than a big event like SXSW, but Love Moor welcomes the chance to connect with other Southern artists and fans.

“I think it’s cool that everybody gets to share that platform.”

Her biggest influences include Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Nicks, Bob Marley, Frank Ocean and Adele, which are apparent in her EP “Simp Girl.”

The lyrics and vocals on “Simp Girl” are disarmingly honest and layered over beats that bring the listener into very personal experiences of love, sexuality, abandonment and self love, without ever feeling melancholy or mournful.

She’s currently working on her first full-length album as inspiration comes. Love Moor described the process of creating and releasing “Simp Girl” as a sort of hit-and-run confessional that she’s now working to refine and evolve through her live performances. She didn’t expect the positive responses and calls for more work to follow the EP.

“It’s real personal,” she explained about “Simp Girl.” “I’m gonna tell y’all all my business, then I’m gonna run away.”

For other artists looking to build on their creative passions or turn their experiences into art, Love Moor suggests following the inspiration and trusting your instincts.

“If you really want to do it and that’s your passion, you’ve got to figure out a way to work it without compromising yourself.”

WHAT: An annual festival that showcases the best in emerging and independent Southern music and art
WHEN: Friday, April 13 -Sunday, April 15
WHERE: Downtown Mobile, Ala.
COST: $25-$100

WHAT: Love Moor at SouthSounds
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 14
WHERE: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., Mobile, Ala.