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Monograms





Monograms unveil singles from EP "Silencer," play Alphaville on 04.19

The latest release from new wave garage outfit, Monograms, is heavy hot mess of distortion, expansive vocals, and tactful, driving percussion. The EP, ironically titled 'Silencer,' has already yielded two tracks. The first, “Sharp Teeth” (streaming) is a number that borders on '90s grunge, while the second, “Ok Promises” offers a sound reminiscent of some post punk bands of the late '80s, with guitar tones that sound like synths, extra percussion and random intervals of noise. Monograms is four-piece that refuses to stick to one sound or genre, pushing their own sonic envelope as a rule. Be sure to catch their next show at Alphaville on Wednesday, April 19th. - Andrew Strader





Monograms and Surf Rock is Dead open for CYHSY at Rough Trade's on NYE

Being asked to play a cool New Year's Eve party, and getting paid to do so, must be one of the best gigs any can land on December 31st... Being on stage, with everybody watching... everybody drinking...  In NYC, not many places are cooler than Brooklyn's Rough Trade. The Williamsburg records store/venue will host a New Year's Eve party headlined by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and featuring two promising local openers. Monograms (pictured) plays fast paced indie pop with psychedelic, new wave and garagey overtones. The trio debuted in 2014 with the dreamy "Fader" EP, which was almost entirely performed by singer/guitarist Ian Jacobs); the record offered a sound featuring smooth melodies within a semi-DIY production enamoured with dirt and distortion. This past December new single Downer (streaming) saw the light of day, with the announcement of an upcoming EP scheduled for early 2016.

Surf Rock is Dead - a dream-pop duo with a surf accent that was highlighted already twice here in 2015 - has been getting a lot of attention in blogs lately, finding their way to many year end playlists, and hearts of fans of other surf-dreaming bands like Real Estate and The Drums. Their 2015 EP "SRiD" is charmingly catchiy, appropriately drenched in reverb, and strictly mid-fi. Check out our favorite track Zan A, streaming below.

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Caught live (and enjoyed) at Cameo Gallery's second to last show: SoftSpot

On the weekend of November 22nd, Cameo Gallery, one of the last beloved venues still kicking in Williamsburg post its DIY heyday, gave us a last hurrah. Since 2009 the multi-floored venue and bar has been host to numerous favorite dance parties, indie rock and electronic bands, DJs, make outs, comedy shows — they even fit a few modest demon dimensions in those restrooms. Its stages were notable in the beginning narratives of bands such as Neon Indian, Beach Fossils, Sharon Van Etten, and The War On Drugs. This writer was glad to catch the penultimate show last Friday with a lineup including many local talents: Monograms, Little Racer and SoftSpot opening for Eternal Summers, and a later set by The Juan MacLean. The experience was as dancy, sweaty, and boozy as one could expect. All the acts made for a fantastic show, but in my personal account, Brooklyn’s quartet SoftSpot stole the night.

It wasn’t merely about enjoying the sound, or even getting fixed on lyrics as fabrics fix on burs—It is an intimate thing to watch a woman cast spells, and lead singer Sarah Kinlaw does this in front of everyone gathered. This is most stirring to witness in person, as the power might start in her voice but is controlled as if attached to strings on her expressive hands. SoftSpot is a synthesis of eerie dream-rock with modern dance, and just played one of the most refreshing live sets I’ve seen in a while. A performer caught in a spell of that sort encourages those in the audience itself to follow and ease their steps as into a body of water. Those who desire to, become places for lightening to travel.

At the end of the night, the bright, multicolored display dangling on the ceiling over all of us suddenly seemed in its small way iconic, like the clouds attached to every memory of Glasslands. We wish you adieu Cameo, thanks for all the good times! - Leora Mandel

We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out! 

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