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MOSS sees Maya Hawke move from the silver screen to the realms of indie pop

"MOSS"

Release date: 23 September 2022
7/10
Maya Hawke MOSS Album Artwork
22 September 2022, 10:35 Written by Vicky Greer
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It’s a great year to be in the Stranger Things cast. Just a few months after appearing in Netflix’s global phenomenon, two members of the cast have switched lanes and made waves in the music industry.

First was Joe Keery, with his DECIDE album under the name of Djo, and now Maya Hawke is sharing her second album; MOSS. Some people just have it all. The new album sees Hawke prove her lyrical prowess with whimsical poetry and an acoustic, summery indie-pop.

Hawke’s talent lies especially in her unique songwriting style. The character-driven poetry of "Thérèse" and the alliteration exercise that is "Bloomed In Blue" stand out as some of the best songs on the album, and she also excels in the more jarringly personal lines like in "Luna Moth" (“I don’t need anyone to hurt me / I can do that to myself”). Elsewhere, she really leans into the more witchy, whimsical style: "Over" gives the album a little edge when Hawke lowers her voice for a folksy incantation, and "Mermaid Bar" is a delightfully charming way to close.

MOSS has a delicate, light sound which will appeal to those with an inclination for cottagecore; think along the lines of gentle acoustic guitars and whispery vocal harmonies. "Backup Plan" is particularly summery, introducing us to the sugary sweetness of MOSS and great lyrical promise. As we move through the album, each track is satisfying to listen to on its own, but by the time we get to "Crazy Kid," you start to feel a frustrating lack of sonic variation. There are stand-out moments of course, but at times MOSS finds itself becoming somewhat repetitive.

That’s not to say there are no songs that break free from this formula. Her previously released single "Sweet Tooth" is energetic and more impactful than the tracks that came before it, just as the cinematic "South Elroy" could really pack a punch on a coming-of-age indie film. Later, experiments with vocal harmonies on "Sticky Little Words" allow Hawke to really show off her skill and gives us one of the most memorable choruses on the record.

When you listen to any of the songs on MOSS on their own, it’s impossible not to be charmed by their lyrics and delicate style. Yes, the album could do with some variation in its sound and a few more wildcard tracks to switch things up a bit, but overall, MOSS is a gorgeous outing for Maya Hawke.

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