“MOSS”: The Perfect Album for the Autumn Season


Maya Hawke’s “MOSS” features more than 13 songs complete with tranquil, soft, and emotional melodies. (Courtesy of Instagram)

As an avid fan of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” I was extremely intrigued to listen to Maya Hawke’s album “MOSS,” released on Sept. 23, 2022. Prior to writing this article, I was not aware that Hawke had a career in music in addition to her role as Robin in the Netflix original. I was not sure of what to expect from this album, as I didn’t know the genre of music that Hawke specialized in, nor had I heard a track by her. I was, however, pleasantly surprised with the depth and lyricism of every track on “MOSS,” and found myself listening to the album for the entirety of my day.  

Upon listening to the first track of the album titled “Backup Plan,” I was instantly put at ease with the opening serenade of a folk guitar beat, similar to what I would expect to hear in a Phoebe Bridgers track. The lyricism in addition to the tranquil instrumentals had me completely entranced throughout the three-minute track, which I proceeded to immediately add to my library, as well as my autumn playlist. The following tracks, “Bloomed Into Blue” and “Hiatus,” follow the same, relaxing melodies with the lyrics telling stories of both growth and innocent love. The listener’s spirits are then quickly lifted with “Sweet Tooth,” an upbeat, reminiscent song about being grateful for a past love, comparing it to a “sore sweet tooth.” I especially enjoyed this track, as Hawke takes the listener through a metaphorical journey that tells the story of the good that came out of a terminated love. As a Swiftie, I love to listen to both the lyrics as well as the melody, and the lyricism of “Crazy Kid ft. Will Graefe” reminded me of the heartbreaking, but euphoric story-telling in Swift’s albums “Folklore” and “Evermore.” A line that specifically stood out to me in Hawke’s song was, “I wanted everything mine to be yours too/Including the pain of losing you.” By the middle of the album, the artist has already managed to activate the listener’s emotions through her use of language and melody, which I always appreciate in music. The listener’s emotions soon plummet with the melancholy tone of “Luna Moth.” This song is a beautiful comparison between the simple event of crushing a luna moth with the devastating experience of heartbreak. Hawke’s use of these comparisons in her tracks add depth to the album, and I continued to notice this in the following tracks of “South Elroy,” “Thérèse,” “Sticky Little Words” and “Over.” The figurative language that Hawke incorporates into almost every track on “MOSS” made me wish there were more than 13 songs on the album. “Restless Moon,” “Driver” and “Mermaid Bar” are the perfect tracks to close out the album with their tranquil and soft melodies. 

I found myself both entering and exiting the album feeling not only relaxed, but at peace. I think  Hawke did an amazing job of curating an album that makes the listener feel something. Whether this is sadness, heartbreak, nostalgia or tranquility, “MOSS,” actively ignited feelings inside of me while listening. I personally love music that can fully transport the listener to other settings, and these songs did exactly that. With “Backup Plan,” I could envision myself walking through Central Park on an autumn day surrounded by warm-colored leaves and pumpkin spiced lattes, while “Bloomed into Blue,” transported me into a nostalgic state where I could see children frolicking on a playground. I find myself completely captivated by this album, and if you see me walking to class this semester with my airpods in, there is a very good chance that I will be listening to “MOSS.”