Elliot Moss’s Boomerang (released 4/28/17 via Sounds Expensive/Play It Again Sam) is a stunning new project where the NYC-based 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist songwriter and producer melds sweeping acoustic landscapes with extraterrestrial synths, creating a grand yet intimate sound. Moss’ voice is soulful and even syrupy at times, yet the darker underpinnings of his songs keep him from sounding saccharine. The haunting and introspective project often recalls James Blake‘s piano-filled echo chambers, though Moss’ feels slightly more supernatural—the chordal structure of title track “Boomerang” is ethereal and otherworldly.
You threw the boomerang as hard as you could
And told me to wait in your place
You knew it was coming back
But you wouldn’t be there to catch it
It’s so unfortunate that something has to end
For a man to realize he wants more
“Boomerang” / “My Statue Sinking” – Elliot Moss
The album, though only seven songs in length, is dramatic in its scope. “Boomerang” and the subsequent “My Statue Sinking,” which function as companion pieces about the inherent risks of falling for someone, feel like a valley, giving the listener a moment of reprieve before being launched back into the percussive end to the album. “Boomerang” is spare in a way that maintains Moss’ looping melodies and thoughtful arrangements, opening with a piano that sounds more like a half broken music box as it supports Moss’ delicate vocals.
“It’s so much harder to fall in love,” Moss sings, his voice rising high above the fragile melody, “when you’ve been in love before.” Beneath this familiar sentiment, the mechanics begin to click — a lush string section at the halfway mark, a simple bass line — until the effect is completely melancholic.
Then, the magic of cohesion: These strings bleed directly into “My Statue Sinking” as the music swells and Moss’ voice disappears into the density. There’s a mood-altering key change as we’re dipped into a watery, auto-tuned meditation on healing, not unlike Bon Iver’s wobbly 22, A Million. “I went to a place to repair and rest myself but I never left,” Moss croons, finding himself in an endless loop of self-reflection, an effect echoed by the gorgeous music.
Listen to Elliot Moss’ Boomerang EP below and catch him on tour this summer.
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cover © Drew Reynolds