21 Mar Diggin’ in to “Pink Moon”
“Pink Moon” was inspired by our very first band visit to Los Angeles. A few days after that visit, we headed north to Oakland, CA, where we spent 10 days on the metaphoric spaceship known as Zoo Labs Music Residency. ZLMR is a start-up for musicians – helping artists understand who they are, their strengths, where they fit in the industry, and how to continuously grow and evolve effectively. Zoo Labs was a life-changing adventure for us. Oh, and our dear producer and spirit guide Brad Dollar works for them, so we got to hang and write with Brad some more during that week, which was awesome.
Zoo Labs shenanigans
Obligatory Golden Gate Bridge pic with Bradley
So… the earliest draft of “Pink Moon” was conceived in April 2015 during our residency. After writing the song and recording a demo at Zoo Labs, we were pretty attached to it. The song has been on almost every single set we’ve played since then. You’ll also find a couple acoustic versions on our YouTube channel.
Fast forward to November 2016 when it came time to choose what songs we were going to include on “Surf Disco Compacto Vol. 1.” As we reside in Nashville, refine our craft, tour more and more, and slowly grow into the band we always dreamt about, it’s important for us to best represent ourselves with every new song we release. “Pink Moon” made the cut because it’s such a good balance of our instrumentation, the upbeat good feel, the dancey vibes, and a message genuine to us.
Before we visited LA, we had a vision of what it would be like, and I’m pretty sure that vision is an antiquated interpretation that is more in line with the 1980s LA that you see in movies: beautiful people, lots of hustle and bustle, and cocaine.
Obligatory band photo in front of Capitol Records
Well, there’s still beautiful people and hustle and bustle, and probably street drugs. But anyway, the Los Angeles we found during our first visit was a little different than the picture Hollywood paints.
The City of Angels is truly a special place. The weather is almost always perfect; it’s like summer year round. Traffic is almost always a nightmare, the California burritos are delicious everywhere you go (I’m a fan of the stoner surfer burritos with french fries and avocados in them)… and everyone who lives there is busting their ass 24/7 to succeed, no matter what field of work they are in. And that is the thing that a lot of people might not understand without spending extended amounts of time there.
So LA is a potentially glamorous place, but everyone who lives there is hustling as hard as they can day after day. It’s inspiring and is also exhausting. One might boldly assume that everyone in LA is only looking out for themselves, and you know what? If you lived there, you might be that way too. It’s freaking hard to get by while trying to pursue your dream and also pay rent. It’s not so glamorous. So no, not everyone is only looking out for themselves. We’ve made some really wonderful friends there who have taken care of us… shoutout to Brett, Vicky, Bonnie, Lily, Linda, Rachel, Mitch, Josh, Randy, Corey, Connie, Travis, Grant… the list goes on. “Pink Moon” is for you guys. Y’all are awesome.
That time we informed Josh we were having a party at his house
Just for the record, there are still some people out there who are just like The Californians from the old SNL skits. You know, women who talk like valley girls and men who dominate discussions with their verbal instructions on how to get from one end of the city to the other… even though nowadays most people have GPS readily available.
So our song “Pink Moon” paints the picture of our first experience together in LA. The lyrics describe some of our friends and acquaintances that we met, such as:
“Moved to LA with an arrow in his heart, new sheriff in the West living free, dressing sharp”
“She’s a wild eyed lynx serving up drinks, rich as ink against flamingo pinks”
“Tall skinny palms, she moves and sways, on a hotel roof give me Alabama Shakes”
We actually did meet and briefly hang out with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes on a hotel roof. She was really kind and chill.
To sum up the general pace of LA, the hook is “Go get whatcha want, get whatcha want, baby.”
We seriously considered changing the title to “Get What You Want,” mostly because Nick Drake already has a song called Pink Moon. But we decided to keep the title as Pink Moon because that was the image we had in mind as we wrote the song. Plus, that’s been the title for almost 2 years anyway. We decided to just let it be.
Oh yeah – and “Pink Moon” is much more fitting with the single artwork. 😉
Whose sun-burned “pink moon” is this? I’ll never tell…
We didn’t make that many changes from the Zoo Labs recording to the CTM recording. The main difference is that we recorded it a year and a half later, so our performances were much stronger and more confident.
Also, at the recommendation from one of TOV’s team members, we put the vocal hook up front so the song could begin as strongly as possible.
We decided that the mix should make obvious the voices of the “Hollywood ghosts” (i.e. the stars along the Walk of Fame) so the vocals, primarily in the verses, have a spooky, slightly surreal effect to them.
The drums and bass are fun and dancey, the disco strings add to the lighthearted texture, and the guitar follows the story, switching between bouncy and dreamy. Overall, we used the music to paint the picture of a beautiful LA evening.
Enjoy our latest single!