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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got an award-winning multi-hyphenate that you may have seen on TV, a Broadway stage, or packing out a big theater near you in conversation with a guy whose equally riveting work has mostly been behind the scenes: Sara Bareilles and Rob Moose.
I’m not sure where to begin with Sara Bareilles’ resume: She found fame with her music, with songs like “Brave” and “Love Song” topping the charts. But in addition to making huge records, she’s been a judge on NBC’s The Sing-Off, she wrote the music and lyrics for—then eventually starred in—the Broadway production of Waitress, and she co-created the Apple TV series Little Voice and acted in the Peacock series Girls5Eva. And honestly, this is all just the tip of the iceberg. You will be surprised by how remarkably down to earth she seems in this conversation—I was.
Rob Moose met Bareilles when he was asked to do some string arrangements for her at a Lincoln Center event organized by Ben Folds. For the past 20 years, that’s the kind of work Moose has mostly done: His expert strings have added color and wonder to music by everyone from Sufjan Stevens and The Decemberists to Taylor Swift. He’s been a member of Bon Iver and performed live with Jay-Z. Chances are very good that you’ve heard him without ever hearing his name, because it wasn’t until this year that he decided to release music under his own name: It was while on tour with Paul Simon that Moose had the idea to collaborate with some amazing singers, setting their voices to his strings—and nothing more. The result is an EP called Inflorescence, which features Emily King, Brittany Howard, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and—perhaps you guessed by now—Sara Bareilles. It’s a fantastic, unexpected set of songs that brings out the best in both the strings and the voices. Check out a little bit of Moose and Bareilles on the song “Extract.”
In this conversation, these two chat about how a Craigslist ad changed Moose’s life, about how Bareilles was a bit gunshy about collaborating early in her career, and about how you’ve got to really want to live in New York City—which they both seem to want to do. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Rob Moose and Sara Bareilles for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the good stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Shervin Lainez; right, Aaron and Julia Robbs; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)