Mandy Moore has mainly been in the public eye over the past few years as the star of hit NBC series This Is Us and movies like 47 Meters Down. But about twenty years ago, she was a pop-star contemporary of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. Now getting back to her musical roots, Moore today released her first single/video in ten years, “When I Wasn’t Watching.” Refreshingly, it’s not a lovelorn ode but a recommitment to self, as Moore regrets, “My favorite version of me disappeared, through longer days and shorter years.” According to the press release, Moore explains, “The idea of diving back into music after so much time and personal change was really intimidating to me for a while… But then I finally realized: I’m the only person who can make this move. It all has to start with me.”
The video—directed by Lauren Dukoff, who’s worked with Adele, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga— basically just features various close-up shots of Moore, which we suppose makes sense for a song so focused on self-reflection. The track itself has a cool, laid-back vibe that transcends Moore’s teen pop configurations—a hopeful indicator for the rest of the album, which she’s currently working on. It’s due out on Verve Forecast early next year.