Review: Mossy “Mossy”

The Sydney-based musician known as Mossy (Jamie Timony) has released his self-titled debut EP which is packed full of dreamy obsessions and dense rhythms. Over the course of a year it was created in a windowless studio in New York City’s Lower East Side. In many ways, that environment can be heard on the record, as it has an immersive yet claustrophobic feel to it at times. The expansive element of the synths and Mossy’s echo-laden vocals craft a world of summery beauty, but beneath it all also lies a bleak undercurrent.

Electric Chair, the first single to be taken from the project, kicks off proceedings. There are industrial drums and a deep bass line, before sparkling synths make their first appearance. It all swirls around in a heady state, as a gorgeous guitar solo and Mossy’s vocals then collide towards the end. The whole concept of the opener centring on “self-destruction by means of self-obsession,” according to the man himself.

That obsession he spoke about is also evident in a song like Waterfall that soars into the upper echelons of the dream pop category. The focus on melody is absorbing, but is often wrapped up in a blanket of syrupy instrumentals. You can clearly hear though, a significant amount of time and detail has gone into crafting the many pristine melodies that inhabit the EP. Sure, you may not always be able to hear or understand what is being said, but that doesn’t take anything away from the feelings that Mossy is trying to evoke here.

There is a late-night groove to Shipping Yard which sees it sliding happily into a dreamy reverie. While Mossy takes the opportunity to sing about a “fighter plane” that is “flying overhead.” There’s a disconnection present in not only the bluesy guitar work but also threaded into the lyrics, as a sense of dissatisfaction becomes clearer and clearer. “I’ve got to find a new scene, can you show me where to look?” he proclaims as it sombrely winds down. Meanwhile, Spa (Interlude) offers a short but meditative instrumental that trickles by enticingly.

The final track on the record is the Beat poet referencing Ginsberg, which has also just been given a video. For the first time Mossy’s vocal effects are stripped away and that only serves to heighten the sense of vulnerability that runs through it. The slow burner takes in images of a “moon hanging low” and “shooting stars”, before he declares it is safe if he wants to “scream something obscene.”

At times romantic and at times abrasive; at times expansive and at times claustrophobic- Mossy’s debut record is an impressive slice of dreamy reflection and marks him out as one to watch for the foreseeable future.

Read our interview with Mossy here.

Mossy is out now via I Oh You.

Image: Stereogum