The latest EP released from the Brooklyn-based band, Monogold, has subtle charm mixed with a little monotone. On first, second and even third listen; the album didn’t make a strong impression. However, a listen deeper with a more patient ear detects and begins to appreciate the layered complexity and embrace the whispery, dream-like vocals. Monogold is a “stop and smell the roses” band, not a good listen while you trim the roses. They won’t get the party started, but they will hug you in textures of sound and instrumentation. To appreciate them, they need attention, and not just to be in the background.
While the songs are composed of many layers, the album as a whole has a very singular feel. The songs are very unified and similar making it hard at times to distinguish individual tracks. “Dead Sea Minerals” and “Foxgloves” do break slightly from the pack with a little more upbeat pace, and are eye-opening while the others stay in sleepyland. On these two tracks, the steady cheery guitar and background whistles and whirls punch up the vocals that pop momentarily out of the haze. For the rest of the album, gentle hums, buzzes and chimes float happily alongside the airy vocals.
Overall, it is apparent that the band has a very clear vision of what sound they want to create, and for the most part, they are successful. Monogold takes a little patience to listen to and fully “get.” Which given the current music scene where many in the audience seek immediate satisfaction and tunes that are quick sing-a-longs, this slow appreciation makes them stand out as a whole different animal.
Words: Lori Bartlett