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Interview: Maya Hawke on her sophomore album, 'MOSS'.

Interview: Maya Hawke on her sophomore album, 'MOSS'.

“Your pencils, your dress socks, your charger, your bike lock," opens Maya Hawke on 'Backup Plan', before pining in the next line, "I wanna be anything you've lost that you might be looking for." Her sophomore album 'MOSS' marks the follow-up to her 2020 debut album 'Blush' and finds Hawke in a space with more solid footing than ever before. If she were to similarly list herself in items, she would choose: "A stone from a very special ring that was given to me. A lot of favourite t-shirts. And every race in gym class."

Working closely with co-producer Benjamin Lazar Davis (and the help of collaborators Christian Lee Hutson and Jonathan Low), the sonic landscape of 'MOSS' blooms. If you were to close your eyes as you listen, Hawke imagines the album would look like: "Rain on a car window when you’re crying from relief and the colours from the street lights are blurring in your eyes." Hawke is also set to tour the album through Europe next year in February and March - check out dates here to see if she's performing in your city.

We chatted to Hawke about all things freedom, love, and those who can hurt us the most... 

P.S. Check out Maya's zine pages in our 'Freedom' zine by ordering your own here!

COUP DE MAIN: 'MOSS' marks your second studio album - did you find yourself feeling those pressures of a sophomore album? Or more of a freedom to create whatever you desired?
MAYA HAWKE: I didn’t feel any more pressure than I usually feel. I felt excited for another opportunity at bat and that totally ordinary stomach lurching panic of standing and pouring your heart out and hoping somebody wants to look at it. I hope that never gets any less horrifying.

CDM: 'Back Up Plan' describes someone by listing possessions that they've lost. If you were to describe yourself in a similar way, what items come to mind?
MAYA: Hmm… Great question. A stone from a very special ring that was given to me. A lot of favourite t-shirts. And every race in gym class.  

CDM: When writing lyrics, do you find it more freeing to write about yourself? Or other people/inspirations?
MAYA: I think writing is like garbage collecting. I read that David Sedaris walks up and down the highway picking up people's trash… Sometimes it's my trash, sometimes it’s someone else’s. But I probably feel most free when I write about imaginary characters.

CDM: In 'Driver' you talk about someone reminding you of your father - why do you think it is we often find ourselves seeing our parents in parts of other people?
MAYA: I mean the joke of that lyric is the first part. “Now I’ll tell you a secret / A secret that everyone already knows.” Looking for your parents in other people is maybe the most ordinary psychosis in the world. I think if you are lucky enough to be loved well as a small child, you walk around looking to find the simplicity and intensity of that love in somebody else for a long time.

CDM: You've cited Taylor Swift's 'Folklore' as inspiration for the sound of the record - if you could describe the sound of the album as a place, what would that look like?
MAYA: I feel like it would look like rain on a car window when you’re crying from relief and the colours from the street lights are blurring in your eyes. That’s what I wanted it to look like anyway.

CDM: Is being in love freedom? Or is falling out of it more like freedom?
MAYA: God, I wish I knew the answer to that one. I’ll call you when I figure it out. I’m sure the answer is that true love feels like freedom once you found freedom inside your own brain. But I’m not speaking from experience there.

CDM: "Love is such a better thing to do," you say in 'Sweet Tooth'. Do you think people should focus more on things they like/enjoy, rather than things they hate?
MAYA: Yes, exactly. This is far from an original thought, but I feel like people think they gain status by placing themselves above other people. Someone who walks out of a movie theatre saying “oh my god that movie was incredible, what a cluster f!ck” is someone I’m way more excited to talk to than someone who walked out early.

CDM: In 'Luna Moth' you sing: "I don’t need anyone to hurt me / I can do that myself." Is the person who can hurt us the most always ourselves? Or is it those we put our trust and love into?
MAYA: I don’t know… I know when I have done something wrong, I lacerate myself so much I don’t have space to hear other people’s criticism. I don’t think that’s a good quality. I think it’s good to take responsibility for your actions but not fall so deep into self-loathing that you don’t have space for the emotions of someone you love.

CDM: Is more freedom found in dreams? Or real-life?

CDM: Having played some 'MOSS' songs live now, how do you feel looking back and reflecting on the songs? Do you feel like you are closer to untangling and looking at the rock under the moss?
MAYA: Yeah, thanks for asking. I feel much closer.

Maya Hawke's 'MOSS' is out now - watch the video for 'Mermaid Bar' below:

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