The musical equivalent of your sweetest cravings.
Hush Moss is the sonic equivalent of a bowl of colorful and saccharine Froot Loops topped with honey, but with the lure of a jukebox in the far corner of a bar. In fact, poring over some forgotten jukebox gem is also how you’d imagine the band’s multi-instrumentalists, Eden, Ziv, Dekel, Paolo, Dean, Chris, Guy, Tomer, and Leo, to spend their time whenever they aren’t jamming or recording in one of Berlin’s many apartment-turned-studios.
With the exception of Paolo and Leo, Eden (founder of Hush Moss) and his fellow band members grew up in Israel, then relocated to Berlin in 2016 where they joined artistry with the Italian expat pair. Their first album “It Takes A Lot” was released that same year, spreading enthusiasm among Berlin’s soul aficionados, and quickly reaching a more international audience.
Despite the band’s common passion for Motown soul, disco, and old school R&B, what renders their sound so sweet goes far beyond “vintage.” Case in point: Their first single of the summer, “Meant to Be.” Blending down-tempo funk with orchestral instruments and Eden’s signature falsetto, the track embraces nostalgia and welcomes breezy interpretations at the same time. “Meant to Be” also anticipates a very promising mini album, from which the second single “Fallback” just arrived.
In the meantime, we caught up with Eden Mechulam, voice and driving force behind (and founder of) Hush Moss, to learn about his vision and Berlin’s very own creative challenges.
Your first album “It Takes A Lot” is a witty blend of vintage sounds and emotional heft strongly reminiscent of soul, funk, and R&B jams. What led you to exploring this territory when you first started Hush Moss?
I always had a lot of concentrated cheesy feelings that my friends and fellow musicians would share, so pouring them into actual songs came somewhat naturally. I like to think that our sound is an expression of that “cheesiness.”
That’s quite interesting with respect to your line up. You all have different backgrounds, but somehow seem to agree on rhythms and arrangements from the ‘60s and ‘70s being stimulating foundations for making new music.
Yes, although we try not to think in decades so much. I’m very aware of our influences but I want to believe that we’re creating something new. Besides, you don’t wanna live in the past! You want to give the past a good interpretation, and add some spark!
So is Hush Moss a band?
Yes, it’s Ziv, Dekel, Paolo, Dean, Chris, Guy, as well as Tomer and Leo for live shows when we’re lucky. For a long time, it felt more like me and my friends or me – plus anyone-that-could make-a-live-show. But now, I feel like it’s really coming together. We started realizing that we are a band in the real sense, and this is also one of the reasons I’m determined to invest all my energy into Hush Moss.
What motivated you before?
For a long time I was doing it because I thought nothing mattered outside of music. Now it’s just exciting to be in a project with other people. When you reach the point where no one is making you do anything, the only reason you do what you do is because you really really want to. And maybe that’s when you are ready to feel a little responsible for other people’s hopes and dreams too.
You released the single “Meant to Be” earlier this summer, then “Fallback,” and you have a mini album coming out in the next months. This is your second time recording as Hush Moss. How did you go about it?
That’s right. As with the first album, I still pretty much wrote the songs by myself. Only this time people were coming by all the time, jamming, arranging the songs – bringing in the sweet stuff! Basically, there was a core idea and a lot of people massaging it. Also, it has more orchestral instruments for some reason.
How has this affected your sound? What can we expect from your soon-to-be-released mini album?
This time we recorded by ourselves without a supervision of some sorts. So it might sound a bit esoteric – a bit closer to our live sound.
Your shows are quite the pick-me-up: lots of twirls, spontaneous jokes, and improvisation. It’s almost contagious! Is that how you normally hang out together or would you say you have some kind of performing alter ego?
Yes, that’s how we hang out. Stages hold some magic and make it easier to express different moods and click with each other. That might be the alter ego.
What is the song “Meant to Be” about?
There are barely lyrics to it. It’s just a moment in time, a “sound picture.” I think I wasn’t trying to say much.
What fears do you have concerning Hush Moss and life as a musician in Berlin?
Not having control and not having time. Creating something without money is challenging but doable. With control, it’s tricky, because you don’t want to lose touch for the sake of plays or clicks.
What makes time so valuable?
If you have time, you can take a risk, get distracted, maybe even get lost in that distraction and discover something beautiful. It’s important to keep moving but you also want to be available in a sense, make time for weird random things to happen and inspire you.
In your opinion, why have soul and funk-inspired genres been making a comeback, if anything, in Berlin?
They haven’t made a comeback; they were always everywhere. I think the feelings that soul, disco, and funk speak to are universal in a sense, but perhaps in more commercial terms, it can be read as a form of counter culture. People look for a lot of different things in music, you know. It can become a form of escapism, and people in Berlin might be tired or bored of escaping their everyday-lives through techno. Times are critical, and perhaps there’s a need for something more light and naive again.
Band Members: Eden Mechulam (frontman / voice), Eden records and performs with Dekel Adin (bass guitar), Ziv Yamin (piano, synth, organ), Christoph Hillekamps (drums), Guy Gefen (percussion), Paolo Guolo (saxophone and clarinet), Dean Frechtman (electric guitar).
Photographer: Amelie Rehm
Written by Amelie Varzi
Edited by Jaclyn Siu