In Her Own Voice : Local folk musician Kelli Moyle

written by: Christie Marcy          Photos by: Natalie Simpson

Kelli Moyle says she has always had music in her blood. “Before I could read I would sing storybooks to my stuffed animals, for my fifth birthday the only thing I wanted was a Bangles tape and when I was 12 I taught myself how to play Nirvana on my brother’s guitar. My parents listened to music all the time—I was always into music,” she says, “but I never had a good singing voice.”

OK, so maybe that last part isn’t true, but Moyle says, “I didn’t have the kind of voice you could get into the school musical with.” As a result, she didn’t start singing in front of crowds until she was 18 or 19-years-old. “I’ve never tried to make my voice sound like anything I just started singing and it came out.”

The voice that came out is at once raspy and soulful—and after playing the Salt Lake circuit as part of everything from punk to Americana bands, Moyle is now in the process of recording a solo album. “I’ve always just called it sad girl music,” she says, but concedes it’s likely indie-folk.

Moyle started writing her own music, which is featured on the new album, when she was just 19. “I was like, ‘I need to sing. I need to write these songs with my heart in them.’ It ended up being an outlet,” she says. “It’s kind of like therapy, you can let it go and have it out there—even if no one ever hears it, getting it out is therapeutic.”

For the last couple years Moyle has entered NPR’s annual tiny Desk Concert contest, and last year she was voted a fan favorite for a music video featuring her on a Frontrunner train. “I didn’t win anything but bragging rights,” Moyle says, “but I had my moment.”

See more inside our 2017 July/August Issue.

Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy is a former managing editor at Salt Lake magazine. Though she writes about everything, she has a particular interest in arts and culture in Utah. In the summer months, you will find her at any given outdoor concert on any given night. In the winter, you will find her wishing for summer. Follow her on social media at @whynotboth.

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