The dream-pop San Diego singer-songwriter talks upcoming debut album, Poet Lies.


Moondaddy’s upcoming debut project has humble origins, rooted in the singer-songwriter’s bedroom, in the solitude of quarantine during the 2020 lockdown. She used the abundance of time to school herself on analogue equipment and tangible audio formats, like most, retreating into her space, but in the process, letting out anxieties, hopes and addictions via music. The result is Poet Lies, which looks set to be a dizzying, mellifluous debut opus, led by the entrancing “Lover’s Eye”, which unpacks the sorrow of unresolved and unreciprocated love.

Taking inspiration from the Georgian tradition of gifting portrait miniatures to secret lovers, the cut opens with a recited first verse, above a sinister bass and evocative guitar, “I tore through the lover’s eye, and I don’t know why,” she sings. The candour on display looks set only to extend into the artist’s upcoming album, “I’m very scared to share something so vulnerable,” she tells us below. “But I hope that people can resonate with the record and appreciate it for its authenticity.”

Get in your feels and lost in the hazy soundscape of moondaddy right now, below…

Hey, moondaddy! How are you today? Can you sum up your vibe today in one sentence?
I’m feeling open-hearted and grateful today.

We love your name! Can you unpack how you coined it?
During quarantine, I was constantly checking planetary placements, star signs, or “astros” with a close friend. We collectively came up with moondaddy because I was non-stop tracking lunar phases to cope with lockdown.

We love the first single from your project, “Lover’s Eye”! We read that it’s inspired by an 18th-century English trend of gifting portrait miniatures to secret lovers. How did you happen upon that concept and how do you think it translates to your life today?
I’ve always been charmed by Lovers’ Eyes and the idea of yearning so deeply for someone that you want a piece of yourself hidden on their body. I’ve always dealt with your run-of-the-mill sapphic longing, and I’m also a hopeless romantic, so the idea came pretty naturally to me.

The moondaddy project has its origins in the first lockdown of 2020. How did those long, isolated days spur you on to create?
I had to face a lot of shadowy parts of myself during quarantine. I discovered buried trauma and other pieces of my psyche that I previously hadn’t unpacked. Writing this record really kept me busy and sane, and I felt as though I had the freedom to experiment and explore songwriting solely for my own enjoyment.

Congratulations on Poet Lies! How do you feel about the thought of such a personal project being the property of the world?
Thank you! I’m very scared to share something so vulnerable, but I hope that people can resonate with the record and appreciate it for its authenticity.

You made the album with Texas-based mixing engineer and producer Manuel Calderon, after seeing him listed as a credit on the back of one of your favourite records. Tell us about how your relationship formed!
I started getting more serious about my bedroom demos about a year into quarantine. I found Manuel Calderon on the back of my favourite Beach House record, “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” I googled his name out of curiosity to see if I could send him material to mix and was lucky enough to find him on a site called SoundBetter. He blew me away with his first mix of my demo, and eventually, I asked him if he would be willing to work together in person. We had a couple of long phone chats and before I knew it I was in Tornillo, TX at Sonic Ranch recording the first two tracks of my upcoming album. After my first ranch visit, I visited El Paso a few times to do pre-production and ended up back at the Ranch for a week stretch. We recorded nine songs in less than a week. It was the most incredible experience of my life.

If Poet Lies were a place, what would it be?
A lush forest in a cool climate.

You borrowed from an eclectic range of genres and influences – shoegaze, glam rock, and trip-hop, to name a few. Can you unpack how these different sounds became part of your own musical consumption?
I have been record collecting and attending shows since I was a kid. I’ve always had a broad range of influences, but I think the common denominator is space. I like when the music is spacious and expansive. We all interpret and process music in our own ways, but I like when the artist intentionally leaves room for my interpretation and uses space as an instrument.

What would you love people to feel when they listen to the record?
I would love for people to feel held, understood, and warm.


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