An alternative rock female singer-songwriter with a refreshingly deep lyrical sense (surprising for someone who just turned 20), Claire Moss writes original songs with addictive melodies set to classic guitar-based rock with influences from The Who to The Pretenders to U2. Yet it sounds quite modern. Her voice is dramatic and powerful, reminiscent of Amy Lee of Evanescence, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, and Alanis Morissette. The guitar work is excellent and subtle. And her rhythm section is first class: Gregg Bissonette (Santana, Ringos All Starr Band) on drums and Jimmy Johnson (James Taylor, Uncle Kracker) on bass.
This is a really well thought-out EP. There’s a lot going on in each of the songs, and over several listenings I’ve continued to discover new subtleties. And the mix is quite good for an indie release. One warning: these songs will get stuck in your head when you first hear them, but it’s later in traffic or in the dark of night or sitting in class when their meaning really comes to you and you’ll shiver. I did.
All of Ms. Moss’ songs tell some sort of story. Not the “Oh baby, I miss you, I need you, when are you coming back?” submissive stuff that most of the other girls whimper about. (She’s promised to someday to record her infamous “I’m Not a Blonde”. And name names.) Time is short in this EP, so there’s a lot more serious stuff. Forget the guy-crazy junk. You won’t find it here.
Some standout songs:
Time. The Who with a chick singer address existential angst, somehow in a positive (though ironic) way. It asks the question: are you running late for everything? Wondering when you’re ever going to get a moment to breathe, or if it’s even worth wondering about?
Fan. Some Nirvana echoes here. You’re planning on having his baby, growing old with him. You’ve even picked out the wallpaper. Now if they’d only let you past security so you could meet him for the first time. “Fan” shows you what happens when you build a fantasy life only to find out you don’t know anything.
Meant It. A female Ramones song? Could be. If you’ve been really pissed off and broken up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, what have you, then listen to “Meant It” first. Done in one vocal take, it sucks in and spits out all of that furious bad-breakup energy and takes it to final meltdown. It’s rumored to make most guys turn pale and act really uncomfortable. Um, that’s the point. So, listen to it and then send a copy to your ex.
Still. This song reminds me of “The Lord of The Rings”. Maybe it’s that line in the bridge, “Fight the thirst says the guard, as we walk up the hill and down, chained together, but my mind breaks free and I wander wherever I want to go…” Makes you long for the Shire. The music and her voice get you caught up in the emotion of moving on, triumphantly. A happy-ending story at last. I wonder if we can get her to promise that it’s not the only one?
All things considered, a great first effort. As shes quite young, shes going to be around for some time. I expect great things, with perhaps a bit more vocal depth that will only come with age. I especially look forward to hearing a full CDs worth of songs, as I was left wanting more.