Maya Hawke - “MOSS” Album Review

Story posted September 27, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Cassie Baylis

Maya Hawke released her second album, “MOSS,” on Friday, and it could not have come at a better time.

Hawke’s music is one of an indie and folk lover’s dreams, as her discography lives in this genre.

Soft soprano vocals accompanied by calm instrumentals, invite listeners in to reflect with Hawke as she portrays the pain associated with the past with an oddly cozy aesthetic.

For instance, “Sweet Tooth,” one of the released singles previous to the full album coming out, seemingly carries nostalgic meaning.

With the verse, “I'm grateful for everything you put me through/It's the only reason I'm any good to talk to/When I'm sick or suffering, I'll still call you/About my big, sore sweet tooth,” Hawke includes child-like sentiments like coming to her mother about a “sore tooth,” or painful moment.

The song is playful and upbeat, taking less enjoyable childhood memories into a lighter tone.

Both “Sweet Tooth” and “Thérèse” were released on August 16, preparing fans for the release of the rest of the album.

“Thérèse” contains lyrics, “She reminds me of memories/Sleeping off the growing pains.” The epitome of the album’s theme.

Hawke perfectly picked the two to represent the album beforehand, as they harp on the memories of growing pains. Their uniqueness elevates the album in comparison to the others.

Another song on the album is “Crazy Kid” which features Will Graefe. With two released albums, Graefe creates music in the same genre.

The two artists’ voices work wonderfully on this track, the alto providing a fresh addition to Hawke’s soprano vocals.

“MOSS” has a consistent musical tone throughout the ballads. The songwriting blends beautifully together with the soft instrumentals.

Hawke’s lyrics reflect on her relationships with people and her observations of them. She travels down a road of memories, every lyric precise and unique in experience to her.

Hawke came out with an album previous to this one in 2020, called “Blush.” Some might state “MOSS” lacks the variety of the songs included on “Blush.”

While the songs on the new album make sense together, they fall to repetition at times due to this consistency. One might find themselves feeling as though they are listening to the same song at some points.

Specifically, “Sticky Little Words” and “Mermaid Bar” sound extraordinarily alike at some points, leaving listeners desiring more.

While well-composed and having a nice flow together, similar instrumentals and tempos carrying through the songs withhold variety from the album. Some may not find this a deterrent from the music, as Hawke does make up for it in her songwriting.

“MOSS” proves to be a great listen for autumn, due to the impeccable instrumentation of combined guitar and occasional harmonica.

Again, lyrics paired with calming instrumentals provide a cozy feel. Grab a sweater and prepare for fall with this album.

Hawke’s second album exceeded expectations. The maturity pouring out of her thought-provoking lyrics made the album all the more interesting to consume.

Maya Hawke has set a high bar for the rest of her music career, and after hearing this album, listeners will be excited to see what she has coming next.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Sweet Tooth,” “Backup Plan”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “Sticky Little Words”

 

Cassie Baylis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ceb6085@psu.edu.