Iowa City musician Miss Christine’s releases new song highlighting social justice

Christine Moad, known as Miss Christine, finds comfort in writing songs about the tumultuous year of 2020. Her newest single, “Truth in Song,” details the events of the year leading up to the presidential election.


Photo of Christine Moad (Shadow Fox Photography).

Megan Conroy, Arts Reporter

The year 2020 has been a tumultuous year for the U.S., between the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice, and the general election. For musician Miss Christine, her ability to create music has helped her get through the year.

“I’m really grateful that it’s even possible to make music [in any] way,” Moad said. “If I couldn’t do that, this year would be even more trying.

A 28-year-old Northern Iowa native, Christine Moad has spent the past decade of her life songwriting.

At age 17, she moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a degree in electric bass performance.

Before her spring tour was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moad’s life revolved around touring the country. Now that she’s found herself back in Iowa living in a more permanent situation on a farm outside of Iowa City, she’s been able to focus on her own music.

The songs she’s written so far this year have all touched on the issues she finds to be most pressing in the U.S., and those that make up her latest release are no different.

Her newest single “Truth in Song” was released on all major streaming platforms on Oct. 30. The song details the events that shaped 2020. Moad said she sat down immediately after the news of Floyd’s death came out and wrote the song in half an hour.

Moad’s song covers the topics of racial justice, climate change, transgender rights, and health care. Unbridled emotion is evident in the song as she sings lines like, “We’re running out of time,” and “Land of the free, yet so many die, just trying to be true to what’s inside.”

RELATED: Producing in a pandemic: local artists release new music

“Truth in Song” follows Miss Christine’s 2019 debut album, Conversion, a collection of indie rock, new wave, blues, and soul-influenced songs about gender, personal strength, relationships, and politics, according to a press release for the new single.

“For me, I’ve been marching with Black Lives Matter and protesting since 2015 in Nashville,” Moad said. “The George Floyd killing was a big awakening for a lot of white people, but for me, I was like, ‘How have you not seen this? This injustice has been going on for 400 plus years.’”

Moad was a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. She traveled between states to canvas and protested at the DNC in Philadelphia. Inspiration for her music comes from meeting people on tour and getting to hear their stories. Not having the ability to do that has been very difficult for her, she said.

“Seeing all of these people feel this pain, and seeing that play out to the present day, having conversations with those people really puts it into perspective,” she said. “From all the touring that I’ve done, I just can’t sit back and not use my music to change the country for the better.”

“Truth in Song” was Moad’s way of protesting since she didn’t feel comfortable enough to attend protests during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Crafted on Zoom, Moad said she got to work with some musicians she had been hoping to work with since college but hadn’t had the chance to until “Truth in Song.” The band is made up of Moad, Los Angeles-based drummer Jazz Robertson, Nashville-based guitarist Ellen Angelico, and Nashville-based organist John Pahmer.

Moad recorded the piano part at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City, but everything else was recorded from the musicians’ homes.

The song came from a place of frustration about all of the injustice faced in the country, she said.

“These things affect all of us, especially climate change, which we saw with the derecho in Iowa,” Moad said. “I hope that from this song, listeners can get the urgency of all of these issues being past the point of being able to put it out of sight, out of mind.”

Moad said she intends to continue writing songs of this nature as the year comes to a close.

“Music is so powerful and gets people to hear these things in a different way,” she said. “I hope it can open some other eyes to what’s going on and what we can all do in our own communities to create change.”