Monnone Alone Circa 2022
Although the name may suggest otherwise, Monnone Alone are a bona fide pop group based around the songwriting of Mark Monnone (ex-Lucksmiths) and featuring members of A-grade pop tinkerers Architecture in Helsinki, Mid-State Orange and Ciggie Witch. That’s almost as bona fide as it gets.
However… marooned at home during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown, with no bandmates in sight, Mark Monnone had no option but to take matters to his cassette 8-track and set to work on the follow-up to Monnone Alone (the quartet)’s 2019 powerpop tour de force Summer of the Mosquito.
Monnone then gave his home-recorded tapes to Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Foals, Breeders) to mix the whole glorious mess into something worthy of human consumption. The resulting ten tracks on Stay Foggy bounce blindly from glum to whimsical, from blurred to razor-sharp, showcasing Monnone’s disorientated hopes, dreams and lockdown inertia with an off-the-cuff beach party twist, steeped in fuzzy guitars, budget keyboards, bongos and handclaps.
Having toured the US and Europe with a rotating line-up on the back of first album 2013’s Together at Last (which was recorded in Brooklyn’s Marlborough Farms studio and featured performances by members of The Ladybug Transistor, The Clean, The Aislers Set, Crystal Stilts and Love is All), Mark Monnone eventually got to work back home solidifying the group’s line-up with some of his favourite local players: Joe Foley on bass, Louis Richter on guitar and Gus Franklin returning to the throne having played drums on (and co-produced) the first album.
This was to be a more sonically-driven line-up with Richter’s 12-string riding high in the mix and Monnone’s growing collection of fuzz pedals finding their place among the glorious racket. All the while, as ever, the pop song wins out and Monnone’s proclivity for a winsome turn-of-phrase and bruised-but-beautiful melody shines on through.
Skip forward to mid-2022 and Monnone Alone are once again operating at full 4-piece capacity and readying new material for an upcoming album.
“Stay Foggy thrives on the juxtaposition of all manner of Indie Australiana and the best of the mid-90s Lemonheads / Evan Dando-style slacker pop.” – JanglePopHub
“Shifting effortlessly among powerpop, jangle pop, British Invasion, folk rock, psychedelic pop, and post punk, the album is a delightful assemblage of hooks, melodies and just damn good songs.” – When You Motor Away
“One could fit Summer of the Mosquito right next to the best work of Matthew Sweet, Velvet Crush, or Teenage Fanclub and not notice any drop in quality. It’s that good. A batch of songs that punch through the speakers with vigour and imprint their melodies like a tattoo of the sun.”
– All Music
“This is where power-pop is meant to hang out, bursting with melody and lightly jangling guitar chords. This record is great. It’s every thing I needed in my life at this very moment.” – Austin Town Hall
“’Cut Knuckle’, a gorgeously catchy jangler filled with 12-string strums and a chorus that seems ready to poke through the sky. The song stands alongside new cuts from The Chills and The Bats as an extension of the Aus/NZ jangle-pop prominence that bubbled over between ’86 and ’90.“
– Raven Sings The Blues
“It is no accident that Monnone, who had a strong hand in some early century summer radio hits, has a sturdy set of melodic chops when fronting his own outfit.” – X-Press Mag
“Listening to this record I’m wondering if this guy was the unheralded genius of The Lucksmiths.” – Dagger Zine
Monnone Aloners past, present, future:
James Ausfahrt, Bongo Ger, Drew Cramer, Neil Erenstrom, Joe Foley, Kyle Forester, Gus Franklin, Brian Girgus, Darren Hanlon, Hotdog, Hotrod, Stephanie Hughes, Matt Jones, Hamish Kilgour, Isobel Knowles, Utrillo Kushner, Charlie Layton, Linton, Ryan McPhun, Lara Meyerratken, Geoffrey O’Connor, Gary Olson, One Happy Island, Connal Parsley, Julian Patterson, Stanley Paulzen, Louis Richter, Bec Rigby, Gabe Saucedo, Lehmann B. Smith, Alicia Vanden Heuvel…
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