Elliot Moss - Highspeeds

By Rathan Paul Harshavardan

Released Friday April 24th, 2015 - Inertia 

Elliot Moss is no ordinary 21 year old. The New York based visual artist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer's solo effort is a mix of various ideas and is an example of how creative control can come to anyone at any age. From start to finish, the 10 minute record displays a breadth of work that is obviously inspired, yet has Moss' distinct touch on each and every song, making it his own.

Highspeeds is the first track and with its Bjork like sound leads you into an amazing concoction of electronic sounds with layered vocals and a well laid out instrumental arrangement. With every line into the song, Moss gradually introduces instruments, injecting the song produced in 2013, with the best he offers as a multi-talented individual. Big Bad Wolf is a departure from the first track. Far from the controlled vocal delivery onHighspeeds, this track has beats, synths and rock backing frenetic lyrics and the grunge only adds to the Nirvana-esque influences on the song.

Profound lyrics and the vocal style Moss nails really well make a comeback on Slip. Produced in the style of Highspeeds, Slip is definitely one of the best things on this album. Into The Icebox (Binaural) is a 2-minute binaural piano sample over grating, everyday, noises you'd hear in NYC. Long before Taylor Swift's tryst with apophenia went viral, Moss was producing the same in a more controlled fashion. The sample is not misplaced or unrelated since its end leads on to the moody yet exquisitely produced Pattern Repeating. The music, lyrics and layering of vocals are all driven by a train of drum beats that share an amazing level of synchronicity.

Fractured beats and piano samples debut on Plastic II. Beats drive most of Moss' songs, but for the very first time, the popular bridge backed by orchestral renditions of the chorus that one sees in every Lana Del Rey song on the radio makes it debut, except it is controlled. A basic piano sample driven by the beats, tease you to listen to more of what the producer has to offer but then the song comes to a grinding halt. Faraday Cage, is jazzy with vocalese that high-pitched yet listenable a la Mika.

Soul is experimented on the guitar laced Even Great Things. Mercury which follows right after is guitar laced like the final track About Time, but there is a progression in terms of the speed the guitars, electronica and vocals from Even Great Things to About Time.

A mix of Leonard Cohen, Mika, Bjork, Lana Del Rey and the musical sensibilities of Arca, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Elliot Moss may sound confusing on paper, but is a solid, sold-out reality. He is the best of what most musical artists have to offer today and more. I've rated him an 8/10 not for the flaws I've found, but as a way to lower my expectations for what follows. At 21, this prodigy has managed to curate a work of absolutely amazing art both sonically and if ventured, visually too. I can't wait to hear his next set of songs and hope it is better than his debut, giving me the opportunity to let his music grow on me each time I hear it.