Ok, Norway. Just stop it now. You’re showing off. The reality is that there are so many textured and deeply moving pieces coming out of the Indie scene in Norway, that it’s quickly becoming an absolute hotbed of creative Indie genius. Here, the Oslo-based band Monalia – which has created somewhat of its own paradoxical genre in ‘Mountain Surf’ – create the perfect reflection of both the boldness and the beauty consistently coming out of the place they call home.
Immediately jumping into a breakbeat-esque drum pattern alongside a haunting, reverb-laden surf-ready guitar, their latest single “Get Away” reflects an ideal blend of both the old and new. Pulling equal inspirational elements from 60s pop and the British underground scene of the 80s and 90s, along with enough modern studio tricks to cause an EDM DJ to blush (backward vocal passages, haunting effects and digital programming wizardry) – Monalia, and founder Terje Halmrast, have found the perfect balance between seemingly opposite musical approaches.
Interestingly, the lyrical treatment for the song is similarly a study in contrasts. Again, featuring simple opposites – hot and cold, weak and strong, lost and found – it is almost as though the production and acoustic treatments of the music, also drove the lyrical choices being made here. Or perhaps, since the band is admittedly inspired by the beautiful nearby mountains of Telemark – it might be that the echoing sounds of their own creations have repeatedly been reverberating back to them, bringing new meaning and new reflections on their original intent.
With a running time of just under 3 minutes as a radio edit here, there is still enough room for a drop out of the drum ‘break’ pattern, where the song opens up into a cavernous soundscape, featuring a much simpler percussive piece. In the belly of that canyon, the haunting vocals are illuminated and adrift, soaked in delay and reverb – almost so that you might be able to imagine the majestic beauty and peace that can be found in the hills surrounding their Nordic homeland.
It’s enough to make you want to “Get Away” indeed. Thanks to Monalia, you are able to experience the dichotomy between the old and the new, the rugged and the beautiful, the simplicity and the grandeur – all without ever having to leave home.
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Awesome record, awesome review!