Singer/songwriter Dave Mooney hails from Spotswood, New Jersey, but has a universal appeal in heartfelt songs that cross genres and appeal to all audiences. His newest album, Costumes and Crowns was released this year and is quickly becoming a staple in the classic stories they tell.
Music is a combination of skill and emotion. Mooney started with private lessons from an instructor who taught him the basics. But the most important lesson was how to feel the music and draw on your inner emotions to create music. He showed Mooney how to play with his fingers, but also how to play from his heart. Mooney would like to learn more about music theory, he says, “When I play, I play a lot from what I’m feeling. I feel like it would be cool to know why things sound the way they do. Why things sound good, as opposed to saying it just sounds like that.” Most of Mooney’s performances are acoustic solo shows, but he does play with a backup band when the show requires a fuller sound. Whether he is solo or part of a band, Mooney finds he is perfectly happy when he is on stage.
Feel something. There is little when it comes to matters of the heart that hurts as much as indifference. Lyrics from the song, “Apathy” say, “I’ll fade to oblivion/to the phantom in your head/you buried me inside of your apathy.” Love and hate are strong emotions, but both validate the existence of another person. However, when someone ignores you, it can feel like you are not even there.
Follow your dream. In high school, Mooney and his friends were a staple at the yearly talent show. And they won every year. But more so than getting top honors, Mooney knew music was his passion. One year, he covered “Let It Be” by the Beatles. The audience reaction was spectacular, as Mooney describes, “Everyone took out their cell phones and waved them, and I (thought) this is what it’s like. This is so cool.” With so many reasons not to pursue a career in music, Mooney stays because it is his dream.
Motion in music. The most compelling feature of Mooney’s music is the movement through each song. In his first full length release, Costumes and Crowns, ten songs seek to remove the barriers and expose the true nature of people behind the mask. Ranging from upbeat to anguish, each song is personal and relates to all audiences. Guest vocalist, Lauren Loesner on “Haunted” adds an element that develops a bluegrass feel and is instantly engaging. Ideas are everywhere and Mooney explains, “I try to gather inspiration from anywhere I can. In a lot of my songs, I look at art and I try to gather lyrics from there.” Similar to how an artist paints a picture with paint, Mooney tries to paint a picture with the words and music he plays.
Up, up, and away. Mooney is beginning a new musical project in December, as well as a new music video for “The Song You Sing” a catchy tune that invites the listener to join in. He is planning a Summer tour for next year, but that is not all. Mooney will continue to write and record new music for the next album and perform at local shows as often as possible. With songs that are timeless, Mooney is a singer/songwriter you will want to keep on your playlist.