Album Anatomy: “Moss” by Maya Hawke


Lola Burns

Maya Hawke’s indie album “Moss,” released on Sept. 23, 2022 should be a staple for music and autumn lovers alike.

Ruby Jenkins, Writer

Maya Hawke may not be a household name yet, but she sure has created quite a presence in the entertainment industry. From her roles in various movies and shows like “Little Women,” “Fear Street” and “Mainstream,” to her up-in-coming singing career, Hawke is the newest it-girl in Hollywood. With her sophomore album, “Moss,” Hawke has proven to have quite the scope with her talents. 

While her initial success may be on account of her parents, Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, this album has proved that her popularity doesn’t ride on the back of nepotism. Hawke’s debut album, “Blush,” may not have been extremely popular, with most reviews giving it three out of five stars. However, “Moss” is a lyrically beautiful album and proves that Hawke is here to stay. 


Track one: Backup Plan

Description: The opening song on this album, “Backup Plan,” was surprisingly slow. Despite this, the song truly encapsulates the vibe of “Moss”. Hawke’s voice is perfect for the song, as it is soft yet prominent against the background music. 

Best lyric: “I wanna be anything you’ve lost that you might be lookin’ for / your dirtbag, your small cash / your pocket change / your eyelash.” This lyric truly shows the meaning of this song: the reality of being second choice. 

Rating: 8/10


Track two:Bloomed Into Blue

Description: With the soft opening to this song, the expectations for this track were definitely high. However, the tone of her voice did not match the music at all. Her consistent tone eventually got repetitive and slightly annoying. This song was very underwhelming. 

Best Lyric: “Please let me build something, please let me be / I have beliefs in my brain, I’m a bottomless sea.” 

Rating: 6/10


Track three:Hiatus

Description: This is one of the best songs on the album as her voice is soft and the lyrics are painful. Although this song doesn’t feature any other artists, the background vocals from Christian Lee Hutson add new depth to “Hiatus”. 

Best lyric: “I know you bleed glitter and you have a heart of stone / But all I really want is an actor of my own.” 

Rating: 8.5/10


Track four:Sweet Tooth

Description: “Sweet Tooth” was the second single from the album and set my expectations long before the album was even out. It was released on Aug. 16, 2022 and has over 1.5 million listens on Spotify. This is another one of her best songs, though the change from very slow-paced tracks on the album to the fast and drum-beat music was a bit odd. The lyrics describe craving something you know you shouldn’t have, and the music video that followed shows Hawke’s creativity.

Best lyric: “I’m grateful for everything you put me through / its the only reason I’m any good to talk to.”

Rating: 8.5/10


Track five:Crazy Kid (feat. Will Grafe)” 

Description: The blend of Hawke and Grafe’s voices was not something that initially mixed nicely and felt very choppy. Towards the end, they started to mend and it sounded a lot better, but this was one of the first songs where the listener could tell that the songs and tone were getting repetitive. 

Best lyric: “I wanted everything of mine to be yours too / including the pain of losing you.” 

Rating: 7/10


Track six:Luna Moth

Description: As the third single from the album, “Luna Moth” is one of the best songs Hawke has released. The imagery in this song transports the listener into Hawke’s world and proves her incredible songwriting. The song has themes of rejection and heartbreak that create a new level to the album. 

Best lyric: “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.” 

Rating: 9/10


Track seven:South Elroy

Description: “South Elroy” is, by far, the best song on the album and my personal favorite. It is a perfect mix of “Luna Moth” and “Sweet Tooth”, making it an excellent mix of folk and pop. “South Elroy” ties the album together, sewing the songs to feel more cohesive. 

Best lyric: “Please don’t forgive me / It’d be a pity after all of that / Watch me come crawling back.” 

Rating: 9.5/10


Track eight:Thérèse” 

Description: Thérèse” is the epitome of an indie song and was the perfect single to come from “Moss.” The music video, directed by Brady Corbet, has controversy surrounding it for many reasons. This includes the consistent theme of consent and respect, which many have chosen to scrutinize. Though the message the video conveys is so much stronger than what the press may have to say. 

Best lyric: “It’s tactless, it’s a test / its just Therese / it’s just Therese.” 

Rating: 8.5/10 


Track nine:Sticky Little Words” 

Description: This song wasn’t my favorite the first time I listened to it, though after a few more listens, it grew on me. The background music mixed with soft vocals creates a coming-of-age tone showing that Hawke knows her audience. 

Best lyric: “Sticky little words, they heal and they hurt / They never really work, they feed the birds / That’s it I guess / They might make you laugh / They might make you mad / But they won’t bring you back.” 

Rating: 8/10


Track ten:Over

Description: “Over” seems to have the same tone as the majority of the songs on this album. There is barely any mix-up in the vocals making it somewhat boring. Despite this, the story of breaking bad habits and the attempts of getting over someone makes up for some of the music. 

Best lyric: “No pain, No pain / I know you think I feel no pain / So tranquil now I look so tame / No blame, No blame.” 

Rating: 7.5/10


Track eleven: Restless Moon

Description: “Restless Moon” is the perfect folk song, especially with Hawke’s new-age twist. Something about this song makes it different from the others, just like “South Elroy,” “Luna Moth” and “Hiatus”. Unlike “Bloomed into Blue,” Hawke’s voice has multiple tones which keep the listener engaged and entertained. 

Best lyric: “The tide is in / It will go out / I remember when you said that / I know you meant it now.” 

Rating: 8/10


Track twelve:Driver

Description: This song takes a different approach than the majority of her other songs, as this one describes her parents and their relationship. It’s an interesting look into Hawke’s life, especially the comparison of her life to the one that her father has lived. 

Best lyric: “And oh, I can see it in the movies / I don’t wanna see it crafted and clear.”

Rating: 8.5/10


Track thirteen:Mermaid Bar” 

Description: “Mermaid Bar” was the perfect close to the album and tied together the whole vibe that Hawke has carefully constructed. As she sings of growing out of childish ways and never finding a place to fit in, Hawke creates a beautiful tune. The verses on this song solidify the tone of this album and make for a magnificent end to the story Hawke has created. 

Best lyric: “I opened sardine dream mermaid bar / we serve most oysters and caviar / Leave your seashells in our tall tip jar / There are more like me I swear there are.”

Rating: 9/10


This album has created a new level for Hawke’s career, proving her creativity and talent. The inspiration she got from albums like Taylor Swift’sfolklore” or Phoebe Bridgers’Punisher” has shown that she knows her target audience. My rating for the whole album would be an 8/10, as some of the songs felt repetitive, though the good outweighed the bad. The majority of listeners may be fans of “Stranger Things” and “Do Revenge,” but anyone looking for a new fall-favorite album should look at “Moss.” Hawke has created a sad yet incredible album that has gained her a new spot in the music industry.

What do you think?