The moss is quite the name for a band that transcends genres and eras, as well as states. The Hawaii-based group looks the part of an early-90s grunge band, reminiscent of a young Nirvana. Composed of vocalist and guitarist Tyke James, drummer Will Fowler and guitarists Brierton and Addison Sharp, the group was formerly just teenage wanna-be musicians.
To all of their surprise, the dreams they had of becoming a musical group actually seemed to become a reality as their local gigs in Oahu playing between surf sessions and taco truck escapades gained the attention of those around them.
Listeners gravitated towards the energy within their songs, recreating the calm, friendly and joyful island spirit of Hawaii. Integrating reggae culture into the indie-scene allowed the band to open for major artists such as Pinegrove and Cage the Elephant soon after their formation in 2015.
As the moss gradually became a widely known name in the indie-rock scene, the group decided to take a leap of faith three years later, moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. They played at popular spots such as Kilby Court, while at the same time recording what would become their self-released debut album, Bryology.
The 2019 release forced the group to create on a little budget. While the recording process definitely took its toll, it didn’t limit the moss. In an interview with Lost Lake, James said, "We basically had no budget. We bought some nice mics and an interface, and I ended up learning how to mix while we were recording.” With bouncy rhythms and cranked-up Fender amps, the band proved they had potential.
Two years later, finally able to work more comfortably, the band released their sophomore project, Kentucky Derby. With a more aspirational tone compared to their previous release, the group had expanded their sound while maintaining relatable lyrics and upbeat production. Reflecting on their improvement, Sharp said in an interview with FindYourSounds, “I’m really proud of how we’ve evolved as a band. It feels like we’ve taken every different influence and mashed them all together to create something that feels really special.”
Sharp wanted listeners to know the true differences between their first two albums, noting that their improvement helped create a more cohesive storyline for Kentucky Derby.
Sharp also stated in the interview with FindYourSounds: “Bryology seemed like a collection of separate songs we put together to make an album, whereas Kentucky Derby is a similar thought and story coming together to collectively make a more cohesive album,” he said. “Each song could be listened to on its own, or you could listen to them all and get a broader sense of our intention”
All in all, the moss aims for their listeners to be able to feel something in their music, hoping that they can let go and have fun. The group also says they intend to do the same when they perform live, where they strive to create a concert-going experience that connects their audience to them.
With two albums under their belt, the moss recently dropped a new single, “Insomnia.” According to the band, the track is about “passing the point in a relationship where you can't sleep at night when you are away from them,” evidently acting as a love song with its explosive melody and soaring bassline.
Because of their new hit, the band has been added to Spotify’s “Today’s Indie Rock” and is currently on tour until September, with one of their shows acting as an opener for alternative-rock band Mt. Joy.
As the summer continues to fly by, the moss seem to be completely content with the speed they’re going at, all while taking exhilarating risks in their sound and evolving thematically in their storytelling. Clearly, they are a band to watch throughout the rest of 2022.