"I'm not a nostalgia act," Alison Moyet says. "If you want an 80s throwback, it's probably best not to come."

It's an unusual sales pitch with which to promote your gig. But talking to Moyet it's rapidly apparent she is not your usual musician.

This makes her incredibly fun to speak to. She's fiery and funny and tells it like it is. She's unfiltered, casually dropping truth bombs and f-bombs throughout. When her publicist tells us our time is up she blurts out, "Oh God, that went quickly didn't it?".

It did. But there was a lot to talk about. Moyet has a new album out tomorrow, Other, and is touring here in October. It will be her first visit to New Zealand in 30 years.

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"I was really excited to be there in 1987 but in truth I wasn't on top of my live game at that point in time. I think the band wasn't particularly connected," she says. "I feel much more excited about this tour because I'm so much more on my game."

Alison Moyet performing during the 1980s
Alison Moyet performing during the 1980s

Her last album, 2013's critically acclaimed The Minutes, saw her returning to the electronica sound with which she found fame fronting synthpop duo Yazoo in the early 80s. It's a sound she continues to explore on Other.

The album is sophisticated and cutting edge, with her formidably powerful voice soaring over room-shaking bass, ice-cold synth arpeggios, moody Bristolian bass soundscapes and adrenaline-surging synth-pop.

So it's little surprise that this time around her touring band is fully electronic.

"We're a three-piece on stage. If you consider that I started off in a two-piece, it's 50 per cent more!" she quips. "The joy of electronic music means that everything can get tied sonically - the earlier stuff and my latest stuff."

So despite that early warning against a nostalgia-fest, Moyet will not be ignoring fan favourites entirely.

"I'll be effectively working on my catalogue of the past 30 years with a good emphasis on songs that people will know. There will be hits in there but there will be more challenging stuff as well.

"I just don't want anyone to be confused by the fact that I will be challenging them," she continues. "My albums have all continuously sold here [in the UK] but I know my middle albums won't have the same level of familiarity in New Zealand so it's a good idea to hit YouTube before you come, even though I do plenty of 80s stuff."

"But for me it's really important that people know what they're getting, because I'm not a nostalgia act," she says. "I am a working artist and I have stayed creative over the years to lesser or greater degrees, so you can't expect to turn up and get an X-Factor set. That's not what I'm about."

What this basically translates to is that no, sorry, she won't be singing what is arguably her biggest hit.

"I won't sing Invisible," she says. "I won't sing it because I don't like the language, I can't relate to the lyric and I don't like how it feels on my physically.

"People get upset about it because they think you're dissing their choices. But I can only liken it to your first boyfriend or something like that. This is someone who is a wonderful person, who deserves all the love in the world and you hope he's really happy somewhere ... you just never want to shag him again.

"This doesn't denounce the fact that somewhere that person really belongs. That's how I feel about some old songs. I'm not dissing anybody, it's just that I'm not intimate with them anymore. That doesn't mean to say they've become invalid ... it just means they don't touch me. If they touch you, brilliant. There's no shame in that. It's brilliant. Listen to the record. I ain't f***ing playing it."

She bursts out laughing, which happens frequently, and to be fair, while her vocal performance remains phenomenal on that track, the actual sound of Invisible, all overblown 80s schlock, has dated terribly.

Besides, as she says, the trade-off is that she will perform the hits of Yazoo, whose early New Wave electronic sound has been hugely influential and therefore remains much more relevant.

"It's unarguably a fair exchange," she says.

With those early Yazoo albums and now her new albums being raved about, I ask if she feels at home within the realm of electronica.

"It's not so much I feel at home with it, I spend far too much time in my own head so I'm at home wherever I'm thinking," she says.

But there is something in how her remarkable voice, a powerful and formidable, smouldering, deep blues husk, sounds so right over the cold artificiality of bubbling synths and robotic drums.

"There's something about my voice that's quite wooden, it's quite fibrous," she says. "When you put it together with other wood instruments and you go up in volume, you lose a lot of the fibre of the voice. The nice thing about singing to electronica is that it's like dropping water on Formica ... you get all the shapes, you can hear all the shapes within it."

"What I like about electronica is that you are able to tie in vastly varying styles of music and make them connect. It all gets tied together by the connecting sound of electronica. I can sing a blues song, I can sing something edgy, I can sing anything."

Just don't ask her to sing Invisible, okay?

LOWDOWN
Who: Alison Moyet
What: Touring Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with support act Hollie Smith
When: Plays Auckland's ASB Theatre, Saturday, 14 October