I love being a music tart. Those times where you hear a snippet of music and it turns your head and you want to be totally enveloped in it. You might be watching Hollyoaks and it’s there in the background, you might be hearing some music blasting from a car idling nearby as you chat with a friend, it might be music you are hearing through someone else’s window. It’s a tune that kind of grabs you and you want to chase it. One of those ear worm moments.
That’s how Monks new track Caramel feels like to me. I’ve been meaning to give it a listen this weekend, and then one of my Instagram pals reminded me of it and I gave it a go. Dear reader, it’s given me a go ever since.
These Liverpool lads Monks (George Pomford, vocals, guitar, Nathan Johnson, guitar, Kali Diston-Jones, drums, Liam Daly, bass, synth and Joe Fay (synth, keys, trumpet) are described as a dream pop band, however whoever gave them the badge missed out the pure innate sense of 80s disco. Dare I mention the 1975, or perhaps their much less annoying, more on-this-earth younger brothers, perhaps fans of Larkins, would be very happy here.
The lyrics speak of someone being as smooth as caramel; I can’t help but think Monks are describing themselves with this song. There’s clever touches with the little distortions in the tune, the extra little beats, it just zones in and out a touch like an 80’s Sony cassette Walkman. It’s the attention to detail which brings out this song, kind of like the way the raspberry coulie is smeared around the chocolate mousse and mint leaves to make it special.
I can’t think fully exactly what this song sounds like. It’s one of those tunes that feels very familiar, but actually as you delve into it you realise that it stands on its own. There’s plenty of fun and comfort here. It’s a happy go lucky tune. You want to dance you want to smile.
As part of this review I also had a little play with the Monks back catalogue, as they were one of the many many bands I’ve yet to really discover. I can see since the band formed in 2018 but they’ve come a long way. Earlier Monks tracks have that dream pop style but there’s a slightly less natural movement, a slightly chunkier edge, and even a little psycho pop in places. Here with Caramel the first track from the band’s forthcoming EP Night Moves, it’s full blown, polished to a sheen, 80s sensibilities dancy pop. It’s always hard to produce something quite so pure. It makes the prospect of the EP very promising indeed.
If you want to catch the band play live, and while I’ve never had the pleasure I know a few who have, and they come very highly rated, you can catch them at the following venues – Manchester supporting Fuzzy Sun at Academy 2 on 10th December, Liverpool Arts Club on the 26th November and The Grace in London on the 18th November. The full EP Night Moves is going to be released in a couple of weeks on November 19th via Head-Kick Records.
* all images have been snaffled from the band’s social media