Album Review/Artist Interview: The Moss – ‘Insomnia’

Posted: by The Editor

Indie, alt-rock band The Moss have two albums under their belt. Yet their latest EP, Insomnia, turns out to be their most colorful record to date. The Utah-born, Hawaiian-born band has perfected their own corner of the alternative scene with their seamless blend of blues, 1960s surf pop and intoxicating grunge guitars. This gives them playful, contagious energy that comes with a restless bite. It’s spreading all over Insomnia EP in a force not felt so deeply in previous projects.

Starting with the powerful opening track, ‘Insomnia’, one is immediately transported to the mossy world of ringing soundscapes and explosive choruses. The point in a relationship where it’s hard for one to fall asleep while the other is gone is detailed by the fiery rumble of surf rock juxtaposed with tight, alt-rock rhythms that give the song the effervescent tone it deserves. Lead vocalist, Tyke James, only reinforces this with his raucous vocals that have a knack for effortlessly expressing emotion ingrained in the runtime of the record.

Bleeding into “Blink,” a deeply personal song that James says is “the most vulnerable song” he’s ever written, there’s a moody vibe reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins and Augustana carrying the song’s weight. With lyrics like “I’m scared of the real world / But I’m not the anxious type,” and “If I lose you, I may never love againsang with such heartfelt conviction over steady drums, the song perfectly encapsulates the all-consuming sadness and gloom that exists in the vacuum of heartbreak.

“Carousel” is a hazy drift between emotions with sunny instrumentals. Building on a passionate second half, the blender of feelings works well with the softer soundscape. Yet the EP’s closer “Chapparal” encapsulates everything the moss does best. Bluesy undertones mixed with a thumping rock melody, the song seduces one with retro modernity. It’s hard not to see how infectious “Chapparal” will be live. Whether it’s the upbeat drums or the punchy chorus, it leaves a vibrant impression as the record comes to a close.

With the Insomnia EP, the moss is at its strongest. The band has found their way through vibrant soundscapes and raw vulnerability. At this energetic pace, the seeds of excitement are blossoming for their refreshing presence in the alternative scene in the future.


I had a short interview with lead singer Tyke James about the record, the excitement that comes with a new project. and their upcoming tour below:

You guys are known for blending surf pop, grunge and the twang of 1960s blues seamlessly in your projects. What attracted you to those genres and how does it define the identity of the moss?

I grew up listening to Johnny Cash and the Kooks. Growing up in Hawaii, we were sort of infused with a lot of reggae/beach music. In music, I really enjoy the clash of emotions and how you can say things that seem intense in a subtle, enjoyable way, and I think that comes through in our new songs.

Your last project, Kentucky Derby, came out in early 2021. How does it feel to release the Insomnia EP almost two years later?

Very funny! We’ve had these songs recorded for almost two years and it’s been a long but exciting process to get them out. We now have a lot of new people on our team as opposed to when we first brought them on. That really makes it worth it.

What about this EP that differs from/builds on your previous work? What was your favorite song to record?

“Blink” was the most satisfying for me to record because it was the most recent one we’d written. So the vision for the recording all came together in the studio. The EP in general digs much deeper into music for me than before. With these songs, we really feel like we’ve found something that’s new to us.

With the tour approaching, you’ve always expressed how important live dynamics are to your fans. What do you hope fans will remember from hearing the new music in this setting?

Playing live music is always what it’s all about for us. This is our first official tour, but we’ve been playing shows for a few years now. Recording the music has always been a means of performing and giving people an evening they will remember. Hopefully forever.

Describe the Insomnia EP in one word.


Follow the band on Instagram @themossband.

Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

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Album Review/Artist Interview: The Moss – ‘Insomnia’

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