PREMIERE + Q&A: Elliot Moss– “Closedloop” (Live in the Studio)

Elliot Moss is like a rare Pokémon–a hidden gem that the critical mass may not recognize quite yet, but once you do discover him, chances are you won’t want to let go. 

The New York City-dwelling multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and visual artist released his sophomore offering, the Boomerang EP, on April 28. Maintaining his organically-produced downtempo beats and calmingly soulful vocals, Moss stands tall against experimental greats à la James Blake and SOHN. Boomerang serves as a stunning follow up to Elliot Moss’ debut with Highspeeds, a 12-piece collection that includes one of the most exceptional and ethereal releases in recent history: “Slip.”

Today, we are humbled to present your first look at “Closedloop,” the captivating opening track of the Boomerang EP, performed live in the studio by Moss and his bandmates. Watch the video above, scope Elliot Moss’ upcoming tour dates, and then take a deep dive into Moss’ artistic psyche in our Q&A below. 

TOUR DATES:

6/21 - Washington DC - DC9 (tickets)

6/22 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle (tickets)

6/23 - Boston, MA - Cafe 939 (tickets)

6/24 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right (tickets)

6/27 - Montreal QC - L’Escogriffe (tickets)

6/29 - Toronto, ON - Garrison (tickets)

6/30 - Detroit, MI - DIME (tickets)

7/1 - Chicago, IL - Live on Lincoln (tickets)

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OTW: “Closedloop” is a beautiful intro for the new album, and the live video is even better! Tell us about the making of the track.

EM: “Closedloop” speaks mostly about retreat, or escape, from the surrounding world. In terms of feel, the live version has a different energy to it, since the drums are more of a break on the studio version. There’s a bit of extra enthusiasm that comes from that change…the percussion driving and filling it out a bit more…especially to play bigger rooms since the song is quite sparse at times.

OTW: How and why would you say your sound has evolved from Highspeeds to Boomerang?

EM: Boomerang was written in a different way…I started with the lyrics, writing them as poetry. That being a relatively big change in my process, I found myself going in directions that I wasn’t used to. I’m also a bit older now…much of Highspeeds was made before I was 20. So I think (or would like to think) that my sound has matured in some ways.

Also, I’ve become an awful pain-in-my-own-ass, not permitting any extraneous sounds or sections to end up in the final version…I’d say the production is considerably more thoughtful.

OTW: You mentioned that in “Big Bad Wolf” from Highspeeds that some of the breakdowns are recordings of your car window rolling down, pitched really deep. Are there any quirky background stories with the sounds on Boomerang?

EM: On tour, I like to bring a little pocket recorder…so layered in with snares and kicks are weird sounds I find at gas stations and hotels. I’m pretty sure some of those made it onto “Falling Down and Getting Hurt.”

For “Boomerang,” the piano was played many times, recording only a few notes each pass. That gave it a funny, clunky quality that I really liked. Particularly up against strings which can feel so refined and syrupy, it kept the music from soaring where it shouldn’t go. It’s meant to be a little clunky…a little heavy.

OTW: What will your live set up be on this upcoming June tour?

EM: We are still a trio, but our roles have shifted considerably from song to song. We’ve paid a lot of mind to letting the songs develop into their live selves, so to speak. Part of that means following weird impulses to approach sections or scenes differently…finding original ways to recreate many of the sounds as a three-piece.

OTW: The “Closedloop” video is beautiful as well–what was it like to co-direct it and can we expect more of that in the future?

EM: In my music, I often try to slide ideas and images into the mind’s eye… and to have control over what one actually sees, to more sharply convey what a song means to me, is very attractive. I’ll definitely keep at it. The visual side is all very interesting to me, and I have a hard time keeping my hands off it.

OTW: Who are three artists on your Ones To Watch list and why?

They’ve been around, but I feel like not enough people are aware of Actress. They blow my mind.

For some reason I’ve gotten into a bit of vaporwave, without even really knowing what it is. There’s this artist called Telepath that I’ve been listening to a lot of. The tunes sound like…alien shopping mall…or space crystals…I don’t know. I really like it…re: mental images.

T++ is also playing a lot. Something about electronic music like this, the kind that sort of knows no bounds, really gets me in the mood to plug things in backwards. To try and make noises that I’ve never heard.

OTW: What’s something fans don’t know about you?

EM: I can only snap with my left hand. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

OTW: What is your ultimate goal as an artist?

EM: My job feels like capturing bugs in jars sometimes. It’s been more about setting smaller goals…and with each one I achieve, the blurry, bigger picture restructures somewhat. An ultimate goal is a tricky idea.

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