The days are long, and the weather is warm. It’s the perfect time to put something soft on the stereo and let your mind drift. Flying Fish Cove recently released their debut album At Moonset on Help Yourself and it’s the perfect summertime soundtrack.

The dreamy, sweet sounds will enchant you and make you feel like you’re in a secret garden, even if you haven’t left the house. Flying Fish Cove is comprised of singer-songwriter Dena Zilber’s lead guitarist Jake Jones, bassist Sean Canfield, and drummer Chris McFarland.

Photograph by Dan Bracaglia.

Highlight tracks on At Moonset include the innocent and upbeat “Johnny Paper,” the powerful and punchy “Manticore,” and  “Belladonna,” a psychedelic ode to the 1973 film Belladonna of Sadness. The lyrics are both personal, and poetic, and the sound is bittersweet, with tight instrumentation set to unique and pleasant melodies. 

Zilber chatted with The Sesh Seattle about the band, the music, and of course, cannabis.

Did you all meet in Seattle?

I moved to Seattle in 2015, and Jake Jones and I knew each other through the music world and started dating, we’re partners outside of the band. We’re both musicians and eventually decided to start this band together. Sean and Chris are both friends of ours, we’re all part of the same DIY scene. 

How did you and Jake meet?

He plays drums for a band Iji, and I’ve been friends with Iji for years, even before I moved to Seattle. I played a show with them in Georgia where I lived previously. Iji was also touring with another band from Seattle called Marvelous Good Fortune, and Jake played in both Iji and Marvelous Good Fortune. When I saw Marvelous Good Fortune I thought they were amazing, and they said all the songs they were writing were for a movie that they were making, like a soundtrack. 

They had an email list, so I signed up for the email list to see the movie when it was out. A month or so before I moved to Seattle when I already knew I was moving, I got an email to a link with the movie and he was the star of the movie, and I was like “Wow, that guy is really cute!” So I messaged him and said, “Hey I think I played a show with you, and I’m about to move to Seattle and I want to hang out with you.”  And we started hanging out when I moved here, and we fell in love. 

Who is Flying Fish Cove influenced by?

I don’t know where to start, but we’re definitely influenced by ’80s and ‘90s indie-pop and ‘80s mainstream pop. Belle and Sebastion, Heavenly they’re a band from England, and the singer Amelia Fletcher, she’s been in a lot of bands and she’s a big influence. The band Cub, a ‘90s band from Vancouver, Teenage Fan Club a Scottish band from the ’90s and now that we love, Dolly Mixture, another 80’s band that we love, Even as we Speak from Australia. We also love Cindy Lauper and the Thompson Twins, Kate Bush, and They Might Be Giants.  

Do you think cannabis has influenced your sound or creative process at all?

Cannabis is a huge part of art and music culture, and being aware of stress and anxiety in your life. Cannabis helps you relax and it’s kind of a revolutionary drug that has been treated badly but is useful for artists for relaxing and letting go of anxiety so that you can be free and feel creative and not taken down by the stress of everyday life. 

Do you have any songs or albums that you love listening to when you’re super stoned?

The Zombies album Odyssey and Oracle, and Cocteau Twins Heaven or Las Vegas.

Find Flying Fish Cove’s music on their Bandcamp.

Watch Videos from At Moonset

Main photograph by Dan Bracaglia