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Mandy Moore Stays True to Herself in Folk-Tinged ‘I’d Rather Lose’ Single

A decade-long hiatus from music hasn't slowed down Mandy Moore. On the heels of her recent single "When I Wasn't Watching," Moore released the wistful tune "I'd Rather Lose" on Friday (Nov. 1) ahead of her forthcoming album.

Where the first single winds down a folk-rock groove paved by the percussion, "I'd Rather Lose" treads lighter with an acoustic flair and pensive theme. She asks thought-provoking questions in the lyrics — "Are you happy with your life?/ Am I happy with mine?/ Where is the innocence we hid behind?/ And who were those kids/ Who knew where to draw the line?" — and is left with the resolve that losing feels better than breaking all the rules to win.

"We live in a cultural moment of 'win at all costs' and that may afford small victories in the short term but this song tries to explore the idea of trying to live according to your moral compass, whatever that might be," said Moore in a press release. "It's easy to run out of patience and give into temptations on any given day, but it seems like the only way of achieving the kind of long term peace of mind we're all looking for, requires a recommitment to the concepts of honesty and integrity that ground us. On a macro level, that's what this song aims to hit on — abandoning some game you never subscribed to in the first place." 

She strips away the structured pop sound of her older material and restructures her newer music into a grounded and sincere sound. Moore embodies Joni Mitchell in her California-molded earthy, yet breezy melody — and those scenic qualities are what the This Is Us actress hopes are in the background while listeners tune into "I'd Rather Lose."

"I wanted to make a very California-sounding record — something that feels sunshiny and airy and natural, something you could listen to driving up and down the PCH with all the windows rolled down on a beautiful weekend day," she said in the release.

With two singles down from the upcoming album, Moore is "stepping back into music completely on my own terms" and has enlisted longtime collaborator and producer Mike Viola and her husband and Dawes' band member, Taylor Goldsmith, to help craft the rest of her material.

Listen to "I'd Rather Lose" below.

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