New Music: Tides by Mossphern
There’s been a lot of good music released in the last couple of weeks, and as much as I’d enjoy the comfort of riding the popularity train and write about Matt Corby’s new album, instead I’m going to tell you about one of the less-commercially advertised EP’s that hit the airwaves in the latest cycle of new music.
The 6 track EP is really something special. The entirety of Mossphern’s music thus far is all instrumental and although the ol’ 6 string and piano add to the vibe of this soundtrack, it’s creamy moodiness is mostly due to the layers of lush synthesiser sounds that Mossphern has orchestrated into one of the most earnest expressions of art that I’ve heard in a long time.
Don’t listen to this if you need to be energised though. Listen to this album if you need a break, if you’re meditating, in the downward facing dog position or those first year Uni student whipper-snappers down the road are partying too dang loudly and keeping you up despite your hearing aid being turned off. It’s good for that.
Mossphern doesn’t expect a lot in return for sharing his art with the world. It’s free to listen to on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and most other places you can stream decent music. But it’s a fair expectation for every right-of-mind adult to give a rats ass about Australia’s treatment of Asylum Seekers. A lot of artists these days are happy to tweet about these issues, but few are prepared to nut up and actually do something about it. Now look, there are a lot of things to really like about Tides, but what tops the list for me is that 100% of proceeds of this album go straight to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). What good is art anyway if it’s just money in the artists pockets and not making a goddamn difference to the world?
Soften is a track that will put your heart in a good place. This guitar-heavy track makes you remember the time you were sitting at the beach one evening watching the waves roll in and the sun settle down. It’ll make you feel the breeze.
The beautiful thing about this EP is that you can’t describe how it sounds without simultaneously describing a place you’ve been to, a memory or an emotion. It’s purely environmental. It’s environmental in that it either enhances and elevates the environment you’re already in, or transports you to a completely new one altogether.
And since I find it refreshingly difficult to describe the music, I had a quick chat with Mossphern to talk about the album:
Tell us about your writing process
My process was centred around experimenting with my environments when writing and it only really began about a month before the release of the EP when I wrote the track ‘tides’ while sitting on my bed and thinking about the ocean and the evening sky. It sort of set the process in motion for the rest of the songs. I’d think about what environment is important to me and how I want to convey it, then I’d try to set up my instruments somewhere that would compliment that idea and just started playing. Usually that resulted in the core of the song and then I’d get it recorded and improvise piano or guitar over the top.
What roadblocks did you experience through writing this EP?
Before I wrote the first song, I had always struggled with every aspect of writing. The first song was sort of a turning point where I let go of a lot of mental barriers that were holding me back, everything mostly fell in to place after I embraced imperfections and not overthinking things.
Who inspires you?
So many things and people. Too many to list. But behind this EP, the biggest inspiration was nature and how it effects my mood. I just wanted to share that, and hopefully make other people feel something natural too. I also remember one specific day, I had 5 tracks and was going to begin refining everything, but over a morning coffee, I watched Olafur Arnalds tiny desk appearance and his song ‘Saman’ just captured me. Inspired, I then scrapped my plans for the day and wrote ‘Falling Blue Petal’.
If you could tour/collaborate with any artist who would it be?
Just anyone like minded with love and passion for music and others.
What’s with the name?
I love plants.
What are your thoughts on live performance? Will we ever see mossphern at Rad Bar?
Maybe not fun enough for Rad Bar. But I’ll be working with a friend to translate these songs into a live performance in the hope of performing one day. Maybe in a bookstore on a rainy evening instead.
Tell us about the asylum seekers resource centre, what prompted you to donate to them?
There are truly horrible crimes against humanity happening on Nauru. Maybe it’s something that not a lot of people are aware of. Right now there are people who have escaped an unfair life only to arrive in Nauru to face a living hell that’s happening on our governments watch. The ASRC are putting pressure on the government to change this, fighting for those whose voices have been silenced. They also offer aid to asylum seekers who have made it to Australia and require much needed assistance.
Does your passion for social justice influence how/what you write?
I try to let it effect everything I do. Even if it’s just being mindful of privileges I’ve been afforded in life through circumstance. I think it’s important to always be learning too and one of my favourite authors, poets, many other things, is Audre Lorde. I used a quote from her in the track ‘tides’, because of her call to action to use our art to create the visions of a better world a reality.
What’s next for Mossphern?
I’m working on a music video at the moment, and then I guess work begins on new tracks again, using what I’ve learned from this first EP to improve.