Monroe Moon released a new EP called "Joy" and it's a beautifully put together set of 3 songs that give off styles reminiscent of bands like Massive Attack, Imogen Heap, and a flurry of 90's alt-pop acts.
Twisted up into ambient guitar grooves, a touch of gloom, ethereal tones, and even piano ballads, the Joy EP hits pretty hard when you're least expecting it.
Tracks like "Hark", a song for Yoko inspired by peace brings a little Metric vibes as it plays through with it's truthful message "The only things that matter are peace, love and freedom".
The introductory track "New American Housewife" makes you feel a little better about being a little crazy. The point still being we should unite and understand each other. We're all the same.
The Joy EP has a very positive and important set of messages in good spirit and it comes through just the way it should.
We had a chat with Monroe Moon about the Joy EP and more.
So the Joy EP is a warm culmination of ambient guitars and indie-pop beas and the whole project beacons some 90's alternative pop styles. How did this EP come about?
MM: All three songs on the EP were written shortly before the COVID pandemic hit and the world froze. Their meaning and significance to me and the band became clear during lock-down and I felt a real need to put them out as soon as I could, as my expression of how I felt and was reacting to everything that was happening in the world.
"New American Housewife" is an intriguing song and it feels like it's relatable. What's the song about? Why did you write this one?
MM: "New American Housewife" was unfinished for sometime. It was just a beat and the line "Every body's Crazy, I'm a little crazy" when I went into a deep cannabis transcendental Buddhist meditation wrote "Hark (For Yoko). When I had finished writing "Hark", which was inspired by a day I had spent at Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" exhibition in Liverpool, I immediately started writing the rest of "New American Housewife". It just naturally came out of me. Both songs are about peace and unity.
I can hear a variety of styles on the EP. What are your top artists or bands that really influenced you as an artist? Who changed the game for you?
MM: That's a long list between all of us in Monroe Moon! I am personally influenced by Portishead, Massive Attack, Stone Roses, Poliça, & Cocteau Twins as far as modern music goes, but I listen mostly to classical music and vocal jazz. I haven't gone a single week without listening to Chopin, Erik Satie, Sarah Vaughan, or Billie Holiday since I was a teenager.
"Prism" ends the EP and is a beautiful piano ballad. Is that how you write your songs? Do they start with just you and a piano and grow from there?
MM: Thank you, yes. Most of the songs I write begin with a seat at my Fender Rhodes. I try to come to the keys with no agenda and I guess you could say I "bang around" until something strikes a chord in me. Once I have an initial chord or two I get very quiet and try to hear what my mind and heart want to hear next, chord progression wise, and I just figure out how to match what my mind is singing with the keys. Sometimes new parts or the bridge will come right away and sometimes it's comes later while I'm taking a bath, scrubbing a floor, or doing Yoga. Sometimes the song will wake me up in the middle of the night with the next progression or with some lyrics.
How did all this begin for you?
MM: Love began it all, like all good things. Theo, the guitarist of Monroe Moon, and my husband purchased a complete band setup one Christmas for our 5 children. He wanted them to be able to explore all the instruments and find what fit them best. I am an incurable insomniac and I would sneak up at the witching hour and play around myself. Pretty soon I was writing songs, unaware I had any audience at all, when Theo came to me one night to tell me what I was doing was worth while. And so here we are.
This record has some personal lyrics, do you feel like you use your music to let out how you feel or to really express your emotion sometimes?
MM: I find that truth and reality are a multifaceted thing, like a dodecahedron, and when I am writing music I am like a gem cutter looking at one side, one face of it. When I am gifted with that vision, it's my duty to polish that version of truth to the best of my ability and heart. I could keep going with these geometric solids and lapidary analogies but I'll spare you the stellations. In short, yes, everything I do is an expression of some truth, on some level. It is what makes creating music and art so satisfying and exciting to me.
What's next for you as a band?
MM: We have a lot of exciting project and prospects that we are working on right now, but everything begins with the music, and that's what is always next for us, more music.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans before we go?
MM: Gratus Aeternum