Mandy Moore premiered the music video for her new single "Fifteen." The singer-songwriter reflects on her teen-pop beginnings in the stunning clip.
"Fifteen" is one of the songs from Moore's upcoming album Silver Landings. She previewed her first LP in over a decade with last year's standout single "When I Wasn't Watching." The new song titled after Moore's age when she released her debut album, So Real, and the hit single "Candy" in 1999 speaks to the time later in her career when she wanted to bury that past.
Moore talked in-depth on the subject last month at her Bootleg Theater residency in L.A. Before performing "Fifteen" live, she said, "I've been doing this for 20 years now and my first record came out when I was 15. I think for a long time I really had to sort of grapple with being very appreciative of being in that position, but never being quite comfortable with the fact that I didn't have much creative control." She shrugged her shoulders and added, "Who would give a 15-year old creative control? Maybe Billie Eilish or whatever, but I was not that."
"I think I looked back on that time in my career and I apologized for it and I was embarrassed," Moore said. In 2006, she famously disowned her first two albums, So Real and 2000's I Wanna Be With You, and wanted to offer a refund to whoever bought them. A radio host later took Moore up on that offer for So Real and she fulfilled their request. Back at the Bootleg Theater, 35-year-old Moore changed her tune, adding, "The good thing that comes with the wisdom and clarity of time and age is that I can now look back on that time period with such affection for myself. I was doing my level best. This is sort of a tribute to her [15-year-old Mandy] because I carry her around with me every single day and she's why I'm here."
Moore wrote "Fifteen" with her husband from the band Dawes, Taylor Goldsmith, Amanda Leigh co-writer Mike Viola, and singer-songwriter Jason Boesel. Like her sound on 2007's Wild Hope and Amanda Leigh, it's a folk-pop offering with diary-like lyrics of those bubblegum pop days. "She thought she was making music, but she was only filling seats," Moore sings. Any longtime Mandy fan can catch the clever references she makes to her past, including in the line: "So real, real famous without even knowing why." Moore comforts her teenage self, warmly reassuring, "You're still a part of me." Her relevatory and reflective track sounds like a moment of sweet amends in her songbook.
"Fifteen" is now available on iTunes and Apple Music. Moore's Silver Landings album will be released on March 6. She can currently be seen starring on the hit NBC show This is Us.
Photo composite courtesy of Verve Forecast Records