New Maya Hawke Album ‘Moss’ Allows Listeners to Bloom


Original Moss album cover.

Students across the country have finally begun to wrap up the back-to-school transition, easing themselves back into the school mentality. Maya Hawke, an actress of Stranger Things fame, sought to help ease that process with her newest album Moss. The album, just released on Friday, September 23, 2022, was right on time for the end of the month. In Moss, Hawke tackles the feeling of trying to understand yourself on tight time constraints, which directly correlates with the back-to-school vibe (she even said as such in an interview with Jimmy Fallon!). This album perfectly articulates those feelings, with songs describing the difficulty of self-identity, struggling with trying to communicate in a summer-high relationship as time constraints crunch down on it, and even the difficulty of trying to explore sexuality and the feelings associated with those discoveries. These themes are all communicated in such a gorgeous way; one would hardly believe this is only Hawke’s second album.

Overall, Moss is a breathtaking work of art. Not in a single way does it fall short of the feelings and stories it sets out to tell. It perfectly describes those feelings of confusion and difficulties as you voyage to figure out more about yourself and the world. All 13 songs are amazing, enhanced even further past the lyrics as Hawke makes a bold statement with the heavy distortion effects in the instrumentals, pulling the listener into those rough and deep feelings of sadness and uncertainty. Not a single part of a person’s anxieties are left untouched. 

If you’ve never listened to any of Hawke’s prior works, this is a great place to start. There’s no excuse for anyone to steer clear of this album; definitely give it a shot.

Top 5 Tracks:

As mentioned above, the album’s 13 songs long. All of those songs are amazing, but a few of them truly stuck out. Here are those highlights:

1) Sweet Tooth– 

Sweet Tooth is the most upbeat song on the album. Hawke discusses a memory from her childhood, and how although her mother put her through things she saw as rough, she still sought her out for comfort from the pain of her “big, sore sweet tooth.” “I’m grateful for everything you’ve put me through, it’s the only reason now I’m any good to talk to,” she sings.

2) Backup Plan

A soothing love ballad, this song is the best way to start the album, thanks to the deeply relatable theme that all high school students can relate to; love. Hawke sings about her feelings to her lover, wanting to be “anything [they] lost that [they] might be looking for” in order to make them complete. She sings, “I wanna be anything you’ve lost that you might be lookin’ for…”

3) Bloomed Into Blue

This song illustrates some of the best imagery Hawke has ever created in her music. She paints a beautiful portrait of a winged little girl, growing up and flying out the backdoor of her home. It describes her voyage, how the crowds reacted, and so on. The track plays more like a novel than a song, and that’s what makes it truly gorgeous. Part of the lyrics include the lines, “Please let me build something, please let me be,/ I have beliefs in my brain, I’m a bottomless sea.”

4) Sticky Little Words

Sticky Little Words describes how difficult it can be to describe a difficult realization. She describes how impossible it can be to find a way to articulate something, especially after someone so important has left. Additionally, the distortion in the instrumentals pulls the listener into that uncertainty and melancholy as the weight of the situation settles in. She sings,

“Sticky little words, they heal and they hurt- they never really work, they feed the birds. That’s it, I guess…”

5) Luna Moth

This song is a heartbreaking tale of how a small mistake can ruin everything. Hawke sings about stepping on a moth, ruining the heart of someone by killing something they loved. As the music progresses, she describes her guilt, wishing she could just be someone else and escape from these problems. It’s truly sad, but the track is absolutely beautiful. She writes,“I don’t need anyone to hurt me; I can do that myself./ I don’t see why you would want me; If I could, I would be anybody else.”

Closing Thoughts:

Moss is an amazing album, showing Maya Hawke’s true strength and beauty when it comes to her music career. Of course, there will always be room to grow, but there are far more songs that are amazing than songs that aren’t. Moss is only weighed down at points by its vague lyrics, but if you stay at surface level and solely focus on how it all sounds, it’s absolutely worth every second of your time. 

Final Verdict: 8/10