Moonpools go behind the scenes

As die-hard music fans, sometimes it’s not enough to just play our favourite songs on repeat over and over. Sometimes, we want to go behind the scenes and know everything there is to know about those songs and the artists behind them. (Not in a creepy way, of course.) Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Swiss shoegaze / alt-pop outfit, Moonpools. Below, they take us behind the scenes of their brand new EP, Hide and Seek. They’ve also shared some exclusive photos from the process. Read on and listen along!

We started working on these songs around the release of our last EP Damaged Goods. We recorded some demos of the songs and decided on the basic arrangements. One weekend in December of 2022, we went to a friend’s studio to record the drums of the five tracks we’d been working on. Over the course of the next six or seven months we recorded the rest of the instruments and vocals in our band room. It was a long process, as we hadn’t really produced or recorded anything ourselves before, and Matthias, who took the lead on the production, spent hours and hours recording and editing the EP before we were ready to have it mixed and mastered.

Matthias wrote this song a few years back. A big inspiration was the song ‘Love’ from the Robin Hood (1973) soundtrack. A very romantic melody that sweeps you off your feet. For ‘Never Mind’ it was a similar idea: a synth and vocal line to float away to, but loads of distorted guitars to keep you grounded.

During the drum recording session. Credit: Alon Schmidhauser

He started recording the song and wanted to release it with a new solo project. I tried a few lyrics and it worked well, so we decided to give it a go with Moonpools and it clicked. I wanted to tell a story about someone trying to comfort a friend. They’re trying to show support and express their understanding. But over the course of the song, the comforter realises they don’t believe the words they’re saying and falls into the same hopelessness and indifference they were aiming to help their friend overcome.

When we were recording the guitars for the track, we tried all sorts of different pedals and variations to get a sound we were pleased with. We ended up recording a lot of guitars, and most of them made it onto the track. We like to play this one last at our shows. It’s a great song to just become all-consumed by. It’s almost meditative, the way the two chords repeat over the five minutes of the song.

Recording guitars for ‘Never Mind’

I was having a conversation with someone when they brought up something that had happened ages ago, and they said: “I still remember!” to which I replied: “and you won’t let me forget.” I built the whole song around that short interaction. I delved into the idea of trying to let go of something that had happened or a mistake I’d made. Of evading responsibility and trying to assign blame. I combined these feelings and exaggerated them. In that sense, ‘Forget’ isn’t really a story, more of a collection of feelings and how they play off of and influence each other.

The day after our show at Montreux Jazz Festival

When Matthias first wrote this song, it was a bit faster and a lot more distorted. I recorded some lyrics and melodies over it and we liked the direction it was going in. We actually recorded the drums for the EP before we’d really rehearsed the song and worked on the arrangements as a band. We’d practiced it a few times, and it turned into a slower tune with more reverb than distortion. I was listening to a lot of Ruby Haunt and was really inspired by their picking-guitars. We recorded some ideas and built the song around them.

When we play the song live, the outro is twice as long and we have a moment where we go into double-time and go full throttle on our reverb and distortion pedals.

Listening to a mix in Philippe Laffer’s studio

‘Someday’ nearly didn’t make it onto the EP. When we first played it as a band, we turned it into a dancey indie track. We recorded the drum lines along with the other songs, but when it came to recording the rest of the instruments, I realised it didn’t work and we left it on the sidelines. After I first heard Mitski’s ‘Bug Like An Angel’ last summer, I picked up my guitar and played ‘Someday’ again for the first time in months. I realised it needed to stay the way it sounded when I first wrote it, intimate and fragile. I recorded a version on my phone, sent it to Matthias and wrote: “let’s record an acoustic version.” We went to our band room a few days later and recorded the song in a day.

We kept it very sleek, an acoustic guitar and a simple synth melody to accompany it. For the chorus, we wanted to encapsulate the heartbreak of the song, so we decided on a heavy synth bass, reminiscent of some of David Bazan’s solo music.


The song is, for the most part, about a play I saw called Andersens Erzählungen, which is about the parallels between Hans Christian Andersens life, and that of his most famous protagonist, the little mermaid. It’s a heartbreaking story about love and how it sometimes doesn’t work out, be it because of missed opportunities or because you met at the wrong time, perhaps even in the wrong lifetime.

I was alone in the office at my old job, and Matthias had just sent me a demo version of the tune. I listened to it on repeat and hummed and sang along while I was “working”. The melody and lyrics are pretty much the same on the EP as they were back then. The first line that popped into my head was ‘Hope you don’t mind that I cry all the time,’ and I built the rest of the lyrics around that. It turned into a conversation between two people: One sharing their insecurities and doubts, the other expressing their understanding and showing that they are there to support the other and love them unconditionally. Sometimes you don’t even have to say anything – you understand each other without uttering a word.

Recording synths for the EP

‘Say Anything’ is the first song on the EP that we started working on. Matthias spent countless hours recording and re-recording guitars, trying different pedals and arrangements to build the final version of the song full of energy and drive.

I wrote this song over four years ago. I was trying out harmonies and melodies that I was unfamiliar with, and ended up with the semitone at the start of the verses and just went from there. Not just the melody, but the whole structure of the song ended up becoming something different from what I had written before. There isn’t a really classic song structure of, for example, A-B-A-B-C-B to follow, but there is a pattern.

Guitar set-up during recording session

I was thinking about how I used the German words for see-through and invisible interchangeably when I was younger, and what it meant to be either of those things. To be seen or perceived, either partially or not at all. To be somewhere one minute and gone the next. It’s also where the name of the EP Hide and Seek comes from. In the song, I mention not understanding the game, referring to not understanding the difference between being see-through or invisible. A more abstract thought or idea behind the term “hide and seek” is a common theme in all of the songs of the EP: How much of yourself you’re willing or able to share or let other people see, what it is you’re looking for, be it in yourself, in others or in life.

During lockdown I recorded a first version and tried out some effects and synth melodies. The synth melodies I recorded ended up becoming the choir you can hear at the end of the song. The tune starts off with a clean guitar and turns into a frenzy of sounds towards the end.

Moonpools’ Hide and Seek EP is out tomorrow on all major streaming platforms and Bandcamp.

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop
Join Waitlist We will inform you when Volume 16 arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.