Show Spotlight: Elliot Moss returns to Toronto with new music and new show

(By: Angela McLean)

The dictionary definition of a boomerang states that it is a curved flat piece of wood that can be thrown so as to return to the thrower. A similar definition could be attributed to Elliot Moss’ music. From start to finish, whether it is on a single song or full EP, Moss takes his listeners on a journey. His infectious beats carry the listener while the open-book lyrics, sung by Moss himself, define the story. But just like a boomerang, the stories come full circle and remain Moss’ own, and does he ever tell them well.

Moss dropped his new EP ‘Boomerang’ on April 27 hot off the heels of his debut 2015 LP ‘Highspeeds.’ Now, much to the delight of fans, Moss is bringing his tales to life on stage as he tours the U.S. and Canada this month. The tour stops in Toronto for an intimate show at The Garrison on Thurs., June 29.

RUtv News chatted with Elliot Moss ahead of his Toronto gig to chat about the new show, his latest collection of stories and his summer playlist.

We last chatted when you were playing at The Drake Hotel in September 2016. Now you’re about to play The Garrison. What can fans expect from your new show?

We have new sounds to play with and new music from ‘Boomerang.’ We tried to get as close as we could to sounding like the record. Once we were comfortable, we started to expand on some of the record’s ideas. I’d say things are a lot grander live; themes have had a bit more freedom to expand and fill up the room where they may have been more subdued in the recordings.

Elliot Moss on stage at The Drake Hotel in Toronto in September 2016. (Photo credit: Rebecca Williamson/RUtv News)

Of the concerts you have attended as a fan, which performer has stood out the most to you and why?

David Byrne and St. Vincent is my favourite show I’ve ever seen. Something that always impresses me about both of them is their ability to appear effortless. That combined with the seemingly infinite detail they put into their work makes it feel like a sort of magic.

What song off ‘Boomerang’ are you most excited to perform live?

“Closedloop” is a nice groove to get lost in. It sort of carries itself along in a way that feels fun.

What was the creative process for making this EP like?

I started with the lyrics, something I hadn’t tried until ‘Boomerang.’ After that, writing the music felt more like scoring pre-existing material. The words had already set up a picture in my mind and it was clearer what was being called for.

Did you have any one major source of inspiration for this EP?

Touring. [More specifically,] what that meant in terms of changes to my life and the people in it. I was seeing the world, something I’d always wanted to do, but in this limited way.

There are songs about change, uncertainty and finding inner strength. How does it feel knowing someone could listen to your songs and be able to connect in their own unique way?

It’s the main reason I write.

You’ve said that this EP in particular is best listened to straight-through. Why is that?

It tells a story, albeit loosely. I didn’t want listening to it in order to be like on this disclaimer that came stamped on the CD, but I do feel that it’s more powerful as a whole. It goes from being very removed from reality, to confronting the reasons we go running.

How would you say your sound has evolved from your last release, ‘Highspeeds,’ to now?

I’d definitely consider this EP to be the most thoughtful production I’ve done, or at least it felt like it was. I think it’s also more consistent in its sound and subject matter. It feels more mature to me.

What’s on your playlist this summer?

Portishead, Caribou, Four Tet, Actress, Eomac… this is always the hardest question because I never know when to stop.

What’s next for you after this mini tour?

Straight back into recording. Something new is taking shape [and] I’m really excited about it.

Thank you, Elliot! Last-minute tickets to the show at The Garrison are still available online.

*UPDATE: Just over an hour before the show, Elliot was forced to postpone due to illness. The show has been rescheduled to Thurs., Nov. 30.

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