The sounds of tossing and turning
While we might not all have insomnia, we’ve all experienced at least one night where sleep didn’t come as naturally as we would have liked. The reason for this? Well, there are countless. In Elliot Moss’s new album, A Change in Diet, the sounds of a multitude of sleepless nights have been carefully captured.
Anyone who is a fan of vocoding will be a fan of not only this album, but a majority of Moss’s discography as the New York singer, songwriter and producer is a big fan of vocal synthesizing. For the purposes of this album, vocals along with a mix of modern and experimental instrumentals take listeners, no matter their environment, right to their own bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering if this will be the minute they finally doze off into slumber.
It’s interesting unpacking which type of sleepless night each song illustrates. “Silver + Gold” might find you struggling to sleep with thoughts of a past relationship. Or maybe “Untroubled Mind” will bring back memories of that reoccurring nightmare you’ve been having. No better song illustrates sleeplessness than “Off by One.” The song exudes elevator music energy, waiting patiently to arrive at the floor that is a good night’s rest. The lyrics speak of counting down sheep, then listening to them laugh. There is a sense of drunkenness and hallucination that often comes after hours of nothing but laying in a bed that won’t let you sleep.
The album is shy in its attack but not without occasional boldness to keep listeners on their toes. The intro of the albums first track “July 4” is choppy and electronic, as if the speakers are glitching. But, for every new-age sound, there will be a comforting familiar one to accompany it, just like the acoustic guitar heard later in the song.
Throughout the album, there is a constant repetition of ideas. For example, in the song “Barricade” Moss shows off his ability to take something that has been said a million times and find a new, more beautiful way to phrase it. Instead of saying he feels walked all over, he sings “I’m under your gravity,” a phrase repeated throughout the song. Ideas, however, also repeat themselves among different songs, as the image of twisting and bending bodies into different shapes is encountered throughout the entire album. By doing this, Moss creates a beautiful flow and transition from one song to the next, successfully accomplishing what many artists struggle to do: making your album feel like a story and not just a bunch of different songs you wrote.
No matter which track it is, this album will be sure to set off feelings of curiosity. It will bring about restlessness as well as focus. Each song will somehow find a way to become the only thing on your mind as you listen.