Atmospheric melodies, ethereal guitar hooks and hypnotic, spacious synths are words I would use to describe the style and sound of Monroe Moon – an alternative, indie/shoegaze quartet from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fronted by a singer who has a fantastic voice for the dark and dreamy, is Bunny Monroe. Her husband Theo Malkin plays lead guitar, while Justin Johnson plays bass and Tim Strother is on the drums. The band’s debut EP When the Seagulls Follow the Trawler features “shadowy melodies,” “smoky and sorrowful vocals” and “dreamy guitar styling.” Monroe Moon keep active playing live shows and coming this June, they will release a new single called “See Yourself.”
“Mistletoe” starts off with a spacey synth background, an electronic back beat, somber, but beautiful piano and an atmospheric sounding guitar. The tempo is quite slow, the mood, well –moody. The words hint at another time, another place of longing for a former lover, where, “the kiss we shared so long ago / the moon our mistletoe / just won’t let me go.” After the third verse the band puts in a bridge part and the chords change, giving the song a nice climatic energy. Further in, the lyrics get sad and desperate – “will my love erode / and drift away like winter snow / will I forget or know / what is real and what is a ghost.”
“Saturn” begins with a spooky effect of Bunny Monroe’s voice. The tempo seems about the same as the previous song, but this one gets darker in some ways – perhaps it’s the key the tune is played in. Overall, the mood is very sensual, the words suggesting that the only way to forward is to give in – “I am coming, to take it all / I am coming, so save your soul / Give it to me, with ease / Or give it to me, playfully.” But then, Monroe also sings about a “power” having power over her – “Saturn calls us all.”
“When I cannot sleep at night” features a groovy, electronic beat and a more popish style, albeit in an edgy and dark, shoe-gaze kind of way. Monroe sings about finding safety in the arms of her love. I loved the ending to this one, too. For me, Monroe Moon’s mix of indie/alternative, shoegaze with dark, somber vibes remind me of bands like Portishead and Garbage with moody hints of The Cure and Joy Division. Looking forward to hearing more.
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