The Moondoggies are changing their sound
When the Moondoggies released their debut album, Don’t Be A Stranger, in 2008, a new sound was rising from the Pacific Northwest. Twangy, pastoral, draped in vocal harmonies and, yes, covered in facial hair, the band got lumped in with fellow regional faves like Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses. Ten years later, The Moondoggies have changed, and so has their sound.
Lead singer and songwriter Kevin Murphy says the Everett-based band’s new album, A Love Sleeps Deep, comes after a lot of personal growth and a shift in perspective. “I took a deep breath in a sense,” he said. “As a band we did, as well. We let songs evolve differently.” Don’t be mistaken: The Moondoggies still radiate honeyed harmonies and easygoing vibes. But the tunes on A Love Sleeps Deep feel weightier than the band’s previous work. They’re groovier, more psychedelic and more inclined to jam. is is Neil Young with Crazy Horse, not Neil Young with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Listen on Spotify “You think about playing these songs live … and wanting to explore new areas that seem exciting as a musician,” Murphy said. “We write different types of songs and I think the groove-heavier songs were just much, much better.”
The sound isn’t the only thing that has changed for Murphy. He has also become a father in recent years, which has eased his stage fright and helped him prioritize the things he cares about. Some of the lyrics on A Love Sleeps Deep speak to issues like equality and the environment—issues Murphy may not have written about a decade ago. As The Moondoggies’ family has expanded, so has its view of the world. “I focused more … on outward forces than grappling with the inner ego, I suppose,” Murphy said. “We wrote a lot of songs and waited until we had a batch that we were super proud of.”