Kickstand Productions Presents
Elliot Moss, Derover, Small Tines
Elliot Moss’ new album A Change In Diet represents a shift, a dividing line separating nearly everything he once knew from his future. The album captures a period of upheaval that altered Moss’ habits, relationships, and even his songwriting. Across the 11 songs, he methodically details the nature of change and the ways it can be liberating, discomforting, and often essential. “A change in diet is one of the first things that any self-help resource or therapist will recommend to you,” he explains. “The title is almost a joke because it feels like a crazy oversimplification of your problem. But at the same time it’s not wrong. It’s rarely one singular change that needs to be made, it is many incremental changes. And everything contributes.”
The New York-bred multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer first captured interest with his brand of dense, thoughtful electronic music on 2015’s Highspeeds and 2017’s Boomerang. The albums were icy at times, often shrouded in abstraction, but the path to A Change In Diet led Moss’ art into compellingly vulnerable new territory. Following the end of a decade-long romantic relationship and a long struggle with depression, he turned to songwriting to find catharsis. “It can be easy to fall into old comfort zones. I wanted to write music that was more real. Music that made me nervous to play. If you’re scared of what you’re doing, it’s a good thing...you’re growing,” Moss says.
This approach led to a more raw and uninhibited sound than his previous work, each song awash with vivid imagery and self-reflection. Moss uses the motif of “bending a body into shapes” as a conceptual launching pad throughout the album, examining our willingness to make concessions in order to fit in or maintain certain status quos within our lives—even if it’s damaging in the long run. “These songs are about acknowledging the sharp pains and discomfort, rather than making excuses or distracting ourselves. The kind of mental gymnastics that are required to meet the expectations others have for you, and you may have for yourself, can become too tiring to keep up,” he explains. “I wanted the record’s sound to reflect the same honesty that I’ve been using with myself. I made the decision to avoid hiding behind echoes and effects this time, relying on the instrumentals so heavily.”
As a result, A Change In Diet is a brave, inward-looking opus filled with sublimely simple textures, spartan beats, and poignant songwriting. “Barricade,” a song about the emotional stranglehold of obsessive relationships, features a steady drone that Moss likens to the sensation of falling, while its chorus suggests that boundaries are sometimes the only way to avoid feeling trapped. “Silver + Gold” and the album’s spiritual centerpiece “Bodyintoshapes” are powerful showcases of Moss’ newly incisive wordplay. And while “July 4” details the ways we often run and hide from our pain, the act of writing these songs was anything but a retreat. “This is the first record where I’ve truly avoided compromise,” Moss explains. “I’ve said things exactly the way I wanted to, and didn’t really have the confidence to do that until now. This record was born out of embracing that fear of honesty and pushing past it.”
With A Change In Diet, Moss begins a new journey, powered by a willingness to share his soul unadorned.
Derover is a NYC-based electronic songwriter, producer, and engineer. Hailing from a small town in the Netherlands, she made the move to New York City in 2015. Classically trained on piano from a young age, she shortly thereafter became interested in teacher herself other instruments as well. This drove her to fixate on combining sounds pulled from a wide range of instruments and other sources, shaping them into new compositions.
Her music reflects inspiration from several genres of electronic, indie-pop, and jazz music. She combines production techniques á la Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, with songwriting more in line with artists like Bjork and Radiohead. This leads to a unique sound, a delicate mix of lyrics with electronic drum programming, dark and mellow sound scapes, sonic experimentation, and heavy vocal layering.
By day, Derover is an active audio engineer with a focus on live jazz music and studio production. This enables her to fully self-produce and engineer her music. And with her debut album ‘Who Programs You’ released in 2017, and a February 2020 tour ahead, her sophomore effort is slated for release in early 2020."
Small Tines is a new synthpop duo from Chicago’s Todd Baran and Andy Angelos. The two, formerly of When Cloud Attack, disbanded that project in 2014 to explore new musical territory. After nine months of hibernation and writing, the two emerge from their practice space with a new body of work born from true collaboration. Some of the dance hooks and electronics from When Clouds Attack are retained, but Small Tines sees Baran come out from behind the vocoder to deliver more direct and personal lyrics. In some ways, Small Tines is similar to When Clouds Attack - the nods to 80's post-punk and new wave are there, but with more feeling and less gazing.