If you’ve been searching for a soundtrack for finals week, look no further. Indie pop artist Elliot Moss has that perfect slow, subdued vibe that is so well suited to all-nighters in Brody when you need some light background music to vibe to.
That’s not to say that his music is only suitable to accompany your stress eating at 3 a.m. because you haven’t started that essay that’s due at noon. Moss’ music is flexible and offers a good variety of sound.
With the release of his latest project, Boomerang, Moss now has two stellar albums under his belt. Each track on both albums offer something unique while still fitting into the weighty electronica flow that is characteristic of the artist.
Moss’ deliciously psychedelic album cover heralds what the listener will find inside: an even mix of the broody and the more upbeat, unified under an intoxicating current that guides one from track to track. The project speaks to a range of themes, but Moss particularly focuses on mortality and past love, which often lends the tracks a terse internal anxiety.
The album’s intro, “Closedloop,” lives up to the name with several refrains like, “it’d be better if the world would all slow down” and, “I can’t tell you what it told me.” These repeat throughout the track to set up the sense of anxiety that runs through the project.
“Closedloop” was one of the album’s singles, following “Without The Lights,” which was the first new music Moss released after his 2014 project Highspeeds.
Following “Closedloop” on the track list, “Without The Lights” has a more ethereal sound that blends wavy production with simple beats and Moss’ introspective lyrics that he croons out with his tenor vocals.
The album’s third track “99” is by far the standout. Moss’ evocative lyrics seem to float precariously above a surprising but successfully executed trap beat and the same dreamy synth production that marks all of his tracks.
The lyrics are poetic, referencing concrete images that are strung together in an abstract expression. It’s almost a battle cry but twisted around by the haunting repetition of “I may never come home.” The tension underlying most of Moss’ songs is especially apparent here, with the melancholy lyrics underscored by the emotive rhythm.
Title track “Boomerang” is one of the weaker ones of the project. Thematically it doesn’t do much that’s new or unexpected, and while it does have a distinctly different sound from the rest of the project, that detracts somewhat from its overall cohesion.
Considering its placement right in the middle of the track list and its governance of the album’s title, it seems like Moss was trying to make “Boomerang” the crown jewel of the project. It’s a pretty underwhelming jewel though, one that drains the album’s energy away.
Fans can catch Elliot Moss at the infamous venue DC9 in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 21. His North American tour continues through July 1, when he will finish up with a stop in Chicago, Illinois at Live on Lincoln.