Photograph by Kalina Pulit and Sophie le Roux

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest has appeared on these pages before as part of the biting punk group Charismatic Megafauna and is back with a striking new project called Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business.

London based Canadian artist Jenny Moore (also of MUSARC choral collective and F*Choir) has assembled a vocal group to build epic incantations and glorious primal screams, featuring friends and members of the bands Trash Kit, Deep Throat Choir, Regrouping, Dr Peabody and Bamboo. Although she professes a difficult relationship with “the faith communities” she grew up with, she always found choral singing ‘a really good way to get attention as a teenager, to take up space, to take permission to be loud and funny in a community that insisted on quiet humility, especially for girls’ and it’s that spirit that permeates JMMB on their self titled album due out next week on The Audacious Art Experiment label. Welcome back to Velvet Sheep, Jenny Moore!

Check out the building menace of this track “Sandwiches” part Can, Laurie Anderson & Sister Rosetta Tharpe…

“Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business” and the power of collective choral voices is full of emotional clout, a hefty dose of politics and an enticing slice of sage humour, dealing with subjects ranging from “philosophy to Mini Cheddars, ‘who’s God?’ to clickbait, the apocalyptic to the small human drama”. I haven’t heard such a mantric colussus since OOIOO’s “Gamel” album. As should be expected from Jenny Moore, it’s esoteric, intelligent and considered, as is her song choice, so without further ado, it’s over to Jenny for her “song for ewe”…

“2° coro delle lavandaie (2nd Chorus of the Washerwomen)

This track is so amazing, it’s from a ’70s Napolitan opera called “La Gatta Cenerentola” or ‘Cinderella Cat’ and it’s about a sex dream that one of the washer women has about the king (for whom she works).

I heard it first while on tour with the band I used to play with, Bas Jan. The sun was pouring into a friends flat in Liverpool where two bands were sleeping and making eggs. Heloise, who sings on the JMMB record put it on and the feeling in my muscles changed – I couldn’t concentrate on the conversation or coffee, just the rhythm and voices that were cycloning around in the air.

The beats that build up from breathing, heaving, pounding are both intensely groovy and intuitively clever. The collective voice of these women blows my mind, it’s funny and strong and refreshing in how perfectly ‘un-pretty’ it is, how many textures, attitudes, wisdoms and desires they tap into through the singing.

I found an English translation of the lyrics and the song became next level for me – it’s really political! It get increasingly energetic while describing a woman’s sexual dream, enjoying the deep wells of female desire and imagination that’s usually policed and censored.

The main singer subverts her submissive position as ‘maid’ and totally pulls rank on the king by making herself the queen of the dream. The best bit is in the end when her climax is interrupted by someone waking her from the dream, leaving her really frustrated. She flies into an exasperated fit and curses the person who stole the pleasure from her. It’s hilarious and moving and leaves me with goosebumps every time. Someone described Mystic Business as ‘psychosexual choral chants.’ If that’s true, then I owe it partly to this song.”


Also there’s a launch gig on Tuesday 4th December @ Servant Jazz Quarters, London


If you missed the “Lucky 7” with Charismatic Megafauna it’s here…