Dalton Moon makes hits for Billboard’s “Bottom 100”
// Image courtesy of Dalton Moon.
Dalton Moon is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, who performs live in Harvard Square each Saturday. He describes his genre as “bathroom pop,” and tells WHRB that he and his best friend Hayden (the base-playing second half of Dalton Moon) make pop music for people who don’t like pop music. “We are just as catchy and accessible as we are strange and ridiculous,” Dalton remarks. “We make hits for the billboard bottom 100.”
This interview has been edited for conciseness and clarity.
How Dalton Moon began playing in Harvard Square:
DM: We’re big fans of certain folk heroes like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, and they made it by going around and playing their songs. We're only 18 and we don't get invited to many bars. So we busk on the street and show people our songs. We write our own music, we play it live, and it's the best out there. You’ll often find yourself singing our songs in your sleep.
The only time I think about the topic of the song is when I’m writing the lyrics, because that’s how I can get the words down. Words are kind of tough, usually. But the music part is fun. When I'm on stage, I'm just thinking about it as a song– it becomes greater than my experience. I'm just focused on playing it right.
On his process:
DM: I was about 13 when I started making my first EP. I didn't know how to write any songs, so I just kind of wrote about anything. I didn't take songwriting seriously, I just needed songs to put on the EP. But now I’m pretty prolific when it comes to writing; I’ve got about three or four notebooks filled with lyrics. Inspiration usually comes when I'm sad or lonely, sometimes at four o'clock in the morning– I'll wake up and I'll sit in my bed and write a song. It's usually at night and it's usually when I'm feeling pretty down.
I'm not a topical songwriter: I don't write narrative-based songs about real things or real events. The lyrics are open-ended, dreamlike, and surreal. Even if they're based in real life, they're not usually real. Maybe some things seep through, though– I mean, they're my lyrics, you know?
The story behind Nothing Like Her:
Well, obviously, I'm a young man, and I'm currently looking for a wife to be mine (laughs). That's a struggle, you know… romance. So you’ve got to write love songs, you know what I mean? So sure, things seep through, but the song isn’t written about anybody specific. Nothing Like Her is mainly a parody song. Everyone knows how love songs are supposed to sound, and we just decided to play into that, to write a really classy love song.
What’s next for Dalton Moon:
We’ve got some crazy stuff in the works. We're about to put out our fourth album. It's untitled at the moment, but it’s a pop album and it is coming out soon. It's catchy as hell– I can't wait to play these songs live. We just want to get shows, honestly… we want to play live.
We're able to make music because of how much we listen to it. We never really got taught how to record or how songs work– we just listen to a lot of music. We're big fans of The Beatles, obviously– that's me and Hayden's favorite band. We're huge Beatle nuts, and we're big Elliott Smith fans. We also like contemporary artists like Field Medic. Our friend Geskle is a big inspiration– me and Hayden are working on his new album. He's usually a pop rock kind of guy, but we’re working with him on a more acoustic, down to earth aesthetic. We influence each other.
// Rachel Mehler '24 is a contributing writer for Record Hospital. Her weekly shows are on Wednesday nights (technically Thursday) from 1-2 AM EST.