lliot Moss is a 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist from New York City. His music combines genres such as classical and rock to add extra layers to the electronic beats and rhythms that he produces. He mixes melancholic lyrics with drums and synth noises to create an effortless blend multitude of different styles. This show at SubT was only Moss’ second ever headlining Chicago show.
The first opener of the night, Chicago locals Small Tines, performed a brief set of catchy psychedelic rock songs that got the audience grooving. After Small Tines, the second opener, Derover, was up next. Hailing from New York City by way of the Netherlands, Laura de Rover, combined her classical piano background with her self-taught programming skills to create a somewhat darker atmosphere that mesmerized the audience.
By this point, everybody was ready for Elliot Moss. After a pretty brief set up, Moss and the rest of his band casually took the stage and immediately broke into the first song, 'Bodyintoshapes'. Most of the songs Moss played came from his 2019 release, A Change in Diet. Each song from his second full length release was written and produced by Moss himself. It tackles themes such as past relationships and self-doubt. Moss uses autotune to his advantage in the style of Bon Iver or James Blake. His distorted vocals over the beats he produces creates an envelope of sound, washing the audience in a sea of dreamy melodies.
His full band provided the body that just a synthesizer would lack. Moss also played guitar on a couple tracks which added a new depth to the songs. The crowd-favorite was very clearly “Slip” which received moderate fame after being featured on a viral dance video in 2015. Other songs such as “Closedloop” and “Silver + Gold” had the whole crowd singing along.
At one point during the set, Moss brought out a violin player for three tracks. This added a fantastical feeling to an already dreamy set that absorbed the audience into a semi-trance state. Looking around, everybody was swaying, some with eyes closed. Moss makes music for the in-between feelings. The fuzzy moments between night and day, or the feelings of nostalgia that accompany growing older. After the show, as everyone stepped out of the venue into the hustle and bustle of the city streets beyond, it was hard to forget the feeling of calm and collectivism that Elliot Moss’ music had provided. At least for a moment.