Possibly best known as the one-time front-person for Yazoo, powerhouse singer Alison Moyet has had a formidable solo career, as well. Her latest goth-pop album is Other, her second with producer Guy Sigsworth, whose credits also include Britney Spears, Madonna and Bjork.
“My working method is mainly in the box on Pro Tools,” says Sigsworth, who worked with Moyet in space within London’s Tileyard Studios. “I love choosing the instruments and coloring in the sound around the vocal. I prefer creating sounds by weighing them against the vocal, knowing exactly where I have the chance to take liberties, and where I don’t.”
On Other, Sigsworth chose elements that complement rather than match each other. For example, when guitars and bass go in an electronic direction, the drums will lean toward an acoustic feel. However, in some cases, he had to avoid going too far in that direction. “The English U,” for example, features strings, harps and harpsichords, so Sigsworth was initially trying to force an Aphex Twin-style beat onto it, but he eventually realized a simpler, tighter sound was more appropriate.
“What was a big challenge for me were the songs that were previously co-written with other people,” Sigsworth says. “It was tricky finding my way into something somebody else had done. On ‘The Rarest Birds,’ she was loving the verses but I sensed I had to rock out more on the chorus than I am used to, channel my inner headbanger, lose my demons, and prepare to be more of a rocker than I am by nature.”