On her hit NBC television series This Is Us, Mandy Moore is a 70-something grandmother with dementia working to manage tensions between her three adult children. But in real life, she’s a 38-year-old new mom to her 1-year-old son getting ready for the next stage of her musical comeback — the May 13 release of her seventh studio album, In Real Life.
And while her six seasons as Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us is coming to a close this year, she told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show on Tuesday night (May 10) that it was her tenure on the series that inspired her return to music after not releasing an album since 2009’s Amanda Leigh. “Unbeknownst to me when I got cast, Dan Fogelman decided to make my character’s backstory music related,” she began, talking about the show creator’s idea to have her character record music to be included in This Is Us. “And it kind of sent me into the studio very early on in the first season.”
“I remember I sang this Little Feat Linda Ronstadt song called ‘Willin’ and I had a band with me, and I was like, ‘I miss this, I remember this feeling!'” the Tangled star continued. “I hadn’t made a record in five, six, seven years at that point. It activated something in me again that just pushed me to start writing and get into the studio and make a record.”
From that came 2020’s LP Silver Landings, and now, In Real Life, the title track of which Moore performed for Fallon’s audience after her interview. She’ll also start touring in support of the record in June, bringing with her her husband/bandmate Dawes singer/guitaristTaylor Goldsmith and their baby boy, Gus — whom she said was a big inspiration for her new music.
“I wrote this whole record during the pandemic and when I was pregnant,” she told Fallon. “It’s filled with songs about impending parenthood and thinking of my own childhood, and trying to make sense of what was happening in the world. It was very cathartic to write it.”
See Mandy Moore’s interviews and performance of “In Real Life” on The Tonight Show below: