The Toronto scene indie pop machine! It always seems to be running on all cylinders, pumping out infinite content. Case in point, MONOWHALES and their latest EP Control Freak (released June 1st, 2018), six high energy indie pop jams that implore you to perk up your ears and shake your hips.
MONOWHALES’ battery runs on the stellar interplay of guitarist Zach Zanardo and keyboardist Holly Jamieson. There are moments of bright, spacey electronic flourishes reminiscent of Muse “Wrong Way” and other more straight down the middle indie rockers “Alive Now,” that call to mind Metric or The Sounds. The commonality throughout Control Freak is the polished and pleasantly comfortable vocals of Sally Sharr and steady drumming of Jordan Circosta, both of which provide a sort of ground zero for the songs. Sharr’s lyrics cover very common themes, but she sings with such a feel good energy and brightness that they seem fresh and invigorated.
Control Freak is incredibly well produced and mixed as these songs sound ready for radio. The songs are well structured and arranged; nothing feels out of place, no one instrument is overplayed, its perfect chemistry!
Everything seems to come together perfectly on the track “Take It Back,” a wise choice as the first single on the EP. Polished and hooky guitars mixed together with quirky keyboards and confident, sublime vocals, it’s everything the band does well encapsulated into a three-minute pop-rock gem. The song would certainly do well blasting out of your car radio this summer or permeating from the stage of outdoor summer festivals.
Control Freak could use a dose of experimentation or at least some variance in song approach and construction. Yes, MONOWHALES are at the top of the game when it comes to catchy indie pop anthems, but it shouldn’t be all you do. I’m not saying a change in style but maybe just a re-thinking of approach on a couple of songs here and there. This would leave no room for filler and make a hit song like “Take It Back” stand out even more.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy