LTW have one of the first listens to new NY band Moniker’s latest single.
Moniker are a relatively new band from New York that have recently released their self titled debut LP. Within their ranks they have a multi instrumentalist in the form of songwriter and vocalist Jordan Scott and Matt Shuham, a classically trained percussionist on drums. Bolstered by bass and another guitar, Moniker have a ‘classic’ set up, but with some serious musical creative credentials.
The cheekily titled lead single “I was born disco, but…” is a classic jangly poppy slice of seemingly lo-fi esque music, but with big production and attention paid to each instrument. With its twee guitar, gentle strumming and infectious riff running throughout, combined with its gentle chord progressions and even gentler vocals (!) this is pop perfection, but with a big New York city influence that threatens to burst out in a Hulk esque fashion. Their NY influences are readily there in this track alone (The Strokes, The Bravery, Talking Heads) and on top of this I get some Parquet Courts and even some Pavement. But crucially, what we also get is a bit of Jarvis Cocker’s wit and Edwyn Collins’ vocal flourishes thrown in just to mix it up a little.
Finally, on top of this we get a deliciously lo-fi/home made video shot around NY that pretty much sums up the bands approach to Art, visuals and themselves. They don’t take anything too seriously, and this is so very refreshing these days.
With the JC and ED comparisons, I guess that is where the tweeness comes in. But this is no way a limitation. In fact, the gentle romanticism of the track is very soothing, and again combined with the gentle guitar, this is easy listening. But, as always with one ear pricked to hear what they will come up with next!
All words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.