Singer-songwriter Maya Hawke released her sophomore album MOSS on September 23, 2022, under Mom + Pop Music. The Netflix-original actor, popularly known for her roles in Stranger Things and Do Revenge, has kept her acoustic, folksy sounds while developing stronger lyrics and creating a dreamlike world that soothes even the darkest of emotions. In 2020 she released her debut album, Blush, which focused on themes of communication and sending secret messages. In MOSS, Hawke continues to sing about her personal relationships but digs deeper into her own introspection, ultimately creating a 13-track collection of pure beauty.


MOSS opens with “Backup Plan”, a soft, acoustic song about just being yourself. She sings, “Go away, don’t get too far, it’s not the first time/ I’ve been kicked out of bed for a guitar.” In the following song, “Bloomed Into Blue”, Hawke sings a poem that she and a friend wrote while in high school, alliterations with the letter “b” repeating itself throughout the track. Hawke’s poetic way of singing shines through MOSS, showcasing her new style of writing while maintaining her light, airy voice.


In the fifth song, “Crazy Kid”, Hawke sings with Brooklyn-based musician Will Graefe about what it means to be a child, running around with no inhibitions and just being yourself. Graefe’s slightly deeper voice compliments Hawke’s soprano tone, making an audibly stunning piece with simple lyrics. In the next song, “Luna Moth”, Hawke narrates her apology to a moth she accidentally killed on the way to the bathroom at a party. It’s another light song, but the underlying message is emotional: on her way to a bathroom breakdown she harms an innocent creature, making her feel worse and at the same time, reflective. “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.”

“Restless Moon”, the eleventh song, is just pure folk. Hawke’s trusty acoustic guitar shines through in the song and its easy feel makes it almost dreamlike. “Driver” covers Hawke’s longing to see her parents in love, fantasizing what it would be like to see her parents kiss in the back of a taxi. “I imagine my mom and dad/ Loosely neckin’ in the back of a taxi cab/ I’d give everything I’ll ever have to see them happy/ Kissin’ just like that.”

The album ends with “Mermaid Bar”, the story of a girl who tries to kill herself by jumping into the Hudson River only to become a mermaid. The track shifts midway through though, changing in the fourth verse from dark to content. The “Mermaid Bar” is now a place where everyone is welcome, Hawke specifically singing, “Leave your seashells in our tall tip jar/ There are more like me, I swear, there are/ Come for scallops, come to hear our song/ Come if you’re in awful, bad trouble/ Come if you’re certain you don’t belong.”

Maya Hawke has a profound love for art and that’s seen immensely in MOSS. In “Therese”, Hawke sings about a painting she saw at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (‘Therese’ by Balthus) and how she relates to the star of the piece. In “Over” she supposedly sings about a poem by Robert Browning (‘Porphyria’s Lover’), and her nodes to art are incorporated in practically all of her tracks, even if they’re not the focus. At its core, MOSS is a simple, gentle acoustic album, great for fantasies about living in a cottage in the woods, surrounded by great works of art and moths.

Grab ‘MOSS’ by Maya Hawke here.