Experimental yet familiar, this debut album is the first step in a career which promises to improve with every release
Elliot Moss is a 21-year-old songwriter from Upstate New York. His debut album sees him throwing everything he’s got at his musical canvas, to see what sticks. There are elements of electronica, indie and jazz colouring his soundscapes, but strangely this leads to an overfamiliar sound, rather than a truly original one.
Much of the album evokes Thom Yorke’s solo material, though Faraday Cage is more reminiscent of Radiohead – in each case the similarities are overly apparent. The other obvious resemblance is with Bon Iver; Slip in particular echoes Justin Vernon’s music in both sound and feel. Thankfully there are moments of originality in each song which prevent them from becoming pastiches.
Where Moss shines is when he balances his influences with his own vision; the clinical beats of Big Bad Wolf contrast beautifully with his emotive singing. Pattern Repeating conjures up images of existential anxiety and makes a mundane, everyday sound something to be feared. The simple acoustic lament, Even Great Things strips away the layers to reveal a classic songwriter in the making.
Highspeeds is loaded with promise. For someone so young, Moss is a supreme talent and it’s certain that, given more time to develop his own sound, he’ll return with an even better offering.
Verdict: Promising and protean