Sometimes the most impactful musical statements are the ones that are shortest and to the point. In four songs totaling only 11 minutes on his second EP In The Garden, indie pop singer/songwriter Danny Moffett – aka The Collect Pond - uses his lilting, ethereal voice, quirky lyrical images and narratives, hypnotic acoustic guitar lines and sizzling electric fuzz to capture not only key elements of his fascinating, well-traveled life, but also the dichotomy between our old lives and the ones we’re living in the age of COVID-19.
Before you listen to the dreamy, lighthearted, super infectious acoustic gem “Traveling,” you should perhaps know that Moffett was born in Hawaii, grew up in Bellingham, WA, cracked college radio living in New Zealand, was an engineer and studio and touring musician for prominent indie artists (rapper Que Believe, rockers It Was Romance) in NYC and is now contemplating his current and next musical steps in the Boston area.
He illuminates all that wanderlust and relocation in a few key from the heart, experience driven lines: “And it all sounds the same, so I twist myself and hear it a new way/Should I go, should I stay? Well, I’m coming down. . .And if so, let it go, just take care and play the show/If I’m gone by the end/Know I’ll always be a friend/Traveling."
Songwriting guru Charlotte Hatherley, a solo artist and former member of Northern Irish pop-punk band Ash, encouraged Moffett to add some contrasting, edgier colors to his trademark easygoing flow – resulting in edgy, more rambunctious expressions like “In Between the Seasons,” which artfully captures the intimate, socially distanced literal and figurative garden vibe that underscored the whole project. He emotes: “In between the seasons where I live/I want more than this/Giving me the reasons to stay in. . .Yeah, I’m home/Nowhere left to go/And I’m home/Holding up at home.”
The other two tracks offer equally compelling snapshots of Moffett’s alternately whimsical and wistful The Collect Pond aesthetic, with the offbeat lyrical and quasi-romantic “Hieronymous Bosch” taking us to a contemplative afternoon in a museum (where we can see “All the death/All the life/Hold our breath/Close our eyes” and the crackling, rolling hypno-rocker “Washing Dishes” takes us to his once mundane life where he longed to break free while working long hours as a much critized dishwasher – a job he held just for the “visas and residency.”
In just four snappy songs, Moffett pulls us into an odd but fantastically gripping netherworld, partially influenced by Brian Eno's groundbreaking trademarked creative breakthrough system Oblique Strategies (itself inspired by the ancient I Ching). Imagine what vistas he could conquer with a full length album…
Listen to "Traveling" here: https://open.spotify.com/album/42Fs5axOxSewI8x29pTxDc