New York-based singer/songwriter Elliot Moss makes down-tempo electronic pop songs which he primarily records and mixes by himself. His minimal arrangements feature subtle production tricks, sometimes venturing into more active beat patterns, and occasionally featuring lightly distorted guitar. His lyrics often touch on themes of darkness and loss, and his vocals have earned comparisons to Justin Vernon, James Blake, and Thom Yorke. His self-produced debut album ‘Highspeeds’ was initially released in 2014 on independent label Bad Future, but re-released the following year by American label Grand Jury, Canadian label Dine Alone, and U.K. label Play It Again Sam. Elliot Moss initially played solo concerts, including performances at the CMJ and SXSW music festivals, but eventually assembled a five-piece band for live shows.
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Interview by Sophie.
Your first album “Highspeeds” is very shadowy but it’s also about hope. Is this a way to say there’s always light at the end of the tunnel ?
I think that’s a nice way of putting it… ‘Highspeeds’ and ‘Best light’ bookend the record, and ‘best light’ sort of picks up midway through, as if to say that we’ve finally caught up. the record ends on the line “you were standing in the best light.”
I won’t keep watching you
Dance around in your smoke
Who can flicker out?
You’re not the light I used to know
I don’t believe in safety nets
Strung below that make it alright
To let go
You gotta hold on
You started working on this album while still in high school. Do you still relate to all of your songs ?
I do. A lot has changed, but the feelings that inspired the songs are still just as clear, even though some of them have subsided or changed a bit.
What usually comes first, the vocals or the melody ?
There’s no rhyme or reason to it for me, it can be either. Sometimes a noise is enough to stem a tune.
What is the story behind the hospital sounds we can hear on Into The Icebox (Binaural ) ?
“Into The Icebox” is there to support the next tune, if you close your eyes you should feel the objects moving past as you’re pushed into the back area of the facility. I imagined people running tests on the character before they were plunged into Pattern Repeating.
Electronic, jazz, rock and even soul. There are many influences on this record. Do you remember what your parents used to listen to when you were a child ?
Hum… a lot of Bowie for sure… Don’t remember a lot of what they listened to. my brother and I claimed stereo privileges pretty early on.
“Sometimes a noise is enough to stem a tune.” – Elliot Moss…
You always mention David Byrne as an example. What impresses you the most about his career ?
His ability to morph into differents things authentically, that is the most inspiring thing to me.
Finally, the blog is called SODWEE standing for Sound Of The Week. So, what would be YOUR sound of the week ?
Björk’s new record, Vulnicura :
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