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For the daughter of famous actors, new music is melancholy solace


“The comfort of them and the storytelling of them was really powerful to me, and I found myself craving it and longing for it. That’s the first music I remember, really, those bedtime stories.”

Hawke’s day job has seeped into her music, with the lyrics of Hiatus, a track on new album Moss, delivering some gentle ribbing toward male actors.

“I have a brilliant hairstylist who said to me once, when I was complaining about some boy, ‘You know, Maya, an actress is a little bit more than a woman, and an actor is just a little bit less than a man.’ It always stuck with me because it really made me laugh.

“So the song is about this feeling of ‘I know how silly and vain and superficial and self-conscious artists can be’. And yet I’ve grown up my whole life around actors and actresses and artists, and I love them and understand them and their faults.”

Hawke says Moss, her second album, came together quickly when a film project fell through last year, leaving her with some rare time on her hands.

“Instead of two days off I had two weeks, so there was a mad dash of songwriting with me scouring through old journals and collecting things I’d done earlier and finding voice notes and lyrics,” she says.

“It was a very tumbly emotional process, which was where I was in my life at the time. It’s quite a sad record, it was made by a very sad person. I don’t know who she was, but she was very sad.”


That period of Hawke’s life may be steeped in melancholy but the future, she says, is looking bright.

“I just want to keep getting better and keep working with my friends and keep making things I love,” she says. “That feels like the goal for me.

“I want to walk that line of balance between gratitude for the fact there are people who care about my music and want to listen to it, and the original mission of having a private way of expressing myself where it’s not playing a character and it’s not my quote-unquote job.

“I’m just going to try to figure out how to walk that line and, hopefully, I won’t fall off.”

Moss is out on September 23 via Mom + Pop Music.

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