Flying Fish Cove Share a New Track, Perspective on Their Creative Process, and more!
No one can stop Flying Fish Cove. The Seattle-based group is dropping a new EP, En Garde, only a month after releasing their full-length LP At Moonset (which featured an impressive cameo from Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos).
The EP’s title track is sad, shimmery summertime perfection-- and it’s premiering alongside the music video on phluff.
The band’s Dena Zilber sat down with us to chat about magic, the solstice, and end-of-friendship feels. Read our interview below!
Catch Flying Fish Cove on their upcoming tour, starting June 21st.
Phluff: Congrats on the upcoming EP! How are you planning on celebrating once it drops?
Dena: We’re playing at The Clock-Out Lounge in Seattle on June 21st, the solstice evening, with Scott Yoder and Amethyst de Wolfe. This is also kicking off our 40-day tour to New York and back. We’ll probably eat some ice cream too.
P: How would you categorize your sound?
D: Indie pop, fantasy pop rock, music for lovers of art.
P: For those that aren’t familiar with Flying Fish Cove, give us a little background. How did the band start? Any cringey names that you considered before deciding on Flying Fish Cove?
D: I started the band on January 1st, of 2017. I asked my good friends Sean and Jacob to do the band with me, and my partner Jake to play lead guitar. It was a kind of band I had been dreaming to start. We’re all big indie-pop fans, DIY music lovers, and lovers of outsider art. We’ve also had our friend Chris play with us in the band for a year when Jacob left, and now another great new drummer for our current tour named Clem. My friend Lydia does back up singing on all our recording projects. This band feels like the most powerful music that has ever come from any project of mine, because of working with these amazing bandmates/musicians.
Some of the other band names we considered were Betti-Cola (after the cub album) and Worst Witch. There was a list of 100 names at one point. Flying Fish Cove was always the first name on the list, everyone agreed it sounded magical and that’s why we decided to keep it.
P: How does it feel to release an EP only a month after dropping a full-length LP? Your turnaround time is so impressive!
D: It’s definitely a little strange. I’m hoping it will draw some more attention to our full length in a way, though I feel this EP is equally as strong and beautiful in its own right.
We actually started recording the EP when we knew our full length was coming out on Help Yourself Records. Our goal was to release it before the full length to build up excitement for that-- but we just weren’t completely realistic about the recording process and other factors involved. In a way, it’s good though-- now listeners will get to hear the releases in the order they were made. The timing of it also worked out really well with our tour and ability to make a music video for “En Garde.” We hope listeners will be intrigued by the EP and then want to check out At Moonset for all its full-length glory (plus it’s on beautiful vinyl).
P: Does any of the inspiration from At Moonset carry over onto En Garde?
D: Yes. The songs on At Moonset plays with many themes of fantasy, fiction, childlike imagery, and playfulness- we definitely incorporated those themes. We sing about witches, magic, unicorns, fantastical landscapes, fictional characters, and works throughout the EP. We also used our Omnichord a lot on both albums.
P: Let’s talk about the single “En Garde”. Where does the track primarily draw its inspiration from?
D: The lyrics were inspired by two different experiences that fused together when I was writing the song. The choruses were inspired by the end of a friendship. The other theme was about magical comfort and longing. I wrote some of the verses on a trip to the UK last summer. I was in Scotland for only 3 days and I didn’t want to leave. I was walking by a beautiful fountain in Glasgow, and the lyrics and melody just popped into my head. I recorded them on my phone and developed the rest when I got back home to Seattle. I was also listening to The Magnetic Fields a lot at the time. A friend pointed out to me that it has a very Morrissey-like vibe, and I have to agree-- I listened to The Smiths a lot back in the day, before learning about Morrissey’s personal bigotries.
P: Was the songwriting process for “En Garde” different compared to the rest of the tracks on the EP?
D: I primarily wrote the song on my Omnichord, which is new for me. Most songs of mine are written with my guitar first. I also decided when I was writing “En Garde” that I wanted to explore songwriting with a catchy chorus, featuring a simple sentiment that repeats throughout the song many times, as it is an approach I rarely try. I also came to the song with ideas for harmonies very quickly, which was exciting, that doesn’t usually come to me early on in my songwriting process.
P: I’m in love with the line “I would start over today if you asked me.” Where did it come from?
D: Those words were inspired by the end of a friendship that was very painful. I kept thinking about that relationship and others of mine that had gone wrong and ended badly. If we had started from scratch and made better or different choices, so much hurt could have been prevented, and we would likely even still be friends or at least not feel animosity to each other. With that knowledge in hand [. . ] we could start over today, forget about the grudges and anger, we could be in harmony. I hate having conflict with others, and so it’s something I think about a lot-- don’t we all ultimately just love each other and want to get along? Why is it so hard for humans to forgive for things that can be so silly?
P: The video for “En Garde” certainly has a more ethereal feel compared to your past videos. What lead to the change?
D: I always felt that the song “En Garde” has a dreamy quality to it, which made me envision soft pale hues and ghost-like figures. The lyrics of the song are about wishing for things that cannot be fulfilled, only dreamed about. I also felt the song has a very danceable quality to it, even though it’s a mellow pop song-- which is why I decided to make it a dance focus video featuring a sword, not unlike Sting from Lord of The Rings (haha).
P: You have an upcoming tour! What cities/venues are you most excited to play?
D: I’m super excited about playing Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin, a house show in New Orleans, Bottom Of The Hill in SF with Harry and The Potters, and Corpus Gallery in Santa Fe-- oh yes, and Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree Saloon.