Danny Moffat started out at the age of 15 in Bellingham, Washington, with his first recording on a 4-track. He’s since been found making music in New Zealand, Seattle, Portland Oregon, NYC, and is now settled in Massachusetts. ‘In The Garden’, his latest lo-fi offering, is set for release on August 7, and new single, ‘Washing Dishes’, is out now.
‘Washing Dishes’ opens up with strong guitars reminiscent of The Cure at their peak. There is in fact a certain 70s-80s vibe about the track, because we’re also reminded of Bowie (especially vocally), and maybe a bit of Iggy and The Stooges, and the ferocious riffing continues on as Moffat gently ambles through the lyrics. For this release he’s sought the help of Charlotte Hatherley, who is not just a songwriting guru of note, but also currently a solo artist and a former member of NI pop-punk group Ash. She advised Moffat to take his folky melodies and add some more contrast, and this can certainly be heard in ‘Washing Dishes’, which is mult-layered instrumentally, providing lots of surprises as you listen – a prime example was the final guitar lick, which again, could have been Bowie himself. It’s ponderous and a bit trippy, but it’s well-and-truly replayable, and quite frankly deserves repeat plays, in order to fully take in both the music and the lyrics.
It’s an interesting point to note that for his songwriting Moffat took inspiration from Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies’, which had also been used by Talking Heads, and Bowie (again!) during his Berlin Trilogy. Eno’s work was itself based on the ‘I Ching’ by Sun Tzu, and Moffat found himself pushed into new territory when it came to creating the musical soundscape for ‘In The Garden’.
‘In The Garden’ was written when Moffat moved from New York, to Cambridge Massachusetts, which like its UK equivalent, is a town centred around its university. The album’s title isn’t just a quirky happenstance, but as the record was started during the COVID-19 crisis, Moffat decided it would fit as a concept, as it’s something which can be both public or private, and the garden was itself the furthest distance he could physically travel during lockdown.