Hailing from New Zealand, Moa is a folk-influenced singer/songwriter with the undeniable heart of a popster.

Hailing from New Zealand, Moa is a folk-influenced singer/songwriter with the undeniable heart of a popster. Her first stateside release is a masterful cakewalk between "serious" acoustic-rock stylings and top-40-friendly froth. Moa strikes a comfortable balance with the ease of a seasoned veteran, infusing teen-like tension into the hit-worthy "Youthful," while gliding through the delicate "Holding Me High" with remarkable maturity. Producer Van Vugt does a good job of keeping each track free of trend-conscious clutter. Instead, every instrument exists to support and enhance Moa's voice, as well as illuminate the depth of her notably literate lyrics and infectious melodies. In the end, that method of production effectively asserts Moa as an appealing young artist on the verge of a long career.—LF

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print