Austin, Texas, USA

Austin-based band Monahans, named for the desolate West Texas sand hills, balances thundering rhythms and atmospheric "landscape rock" with urgent pop anthems and spiritual campfire balladry (think Explosions In the Sky + R.E.M + Neil Young).


Austin-based band Monahans (not “The Monahans), named for a range of desolate West Texas sand hills, balances thundering rhythms and atmospheric "landscape rock" with urgent pop anthems and spiritual campfire balladry (think Explosions In the Sky + R.E.M + Neil Young).

The collaboration of Greg Vanderpool and bandmate Roberto Sánchez began in 1999 as the driving force behind Milton Mapes (named for Vanderpool’s grandfather). Nebraska-era Springsteen roots eventually gave way to Crazy-Horse grandeur with the addition of Britton Beisenherz and Jim Fredley. In 2006, after releasing three full-length albums (including one song ultimately covered by Robert Plant) and performing countless shows with the likes of Willie Nelson, Cowboy Junkies and Magnolia Electric Co., Milton Mapes regrouped and changed their songwriting process to a more collaborative effort, allowing the different talents of all of its members to emerge. Wordless soundtracks loaded with Sanchez’ heavy rhythmic intensity and Fredley’s signature guitar stylings soon took on the feel of early U2, R.E.M., and Califone, peeling back the alt-country tag to reveal a more diverse set of influences. They realized that what they were doing warranted a new beginning, and Monahans was born.

Monahans’ first album, 'Low Pining' (Undertow, 2007) straddles the line between rural West Texas detachment and thundering high-seas unrest, drenched in Cold-War Era urgency and highlighted by the sweeping, glossy pop anthem “Undiscovered”.

2009 saw Monahans signed to Misra Records, who released the band's second album, 'Dim The Aurora'. Opening with the potently hopeful “It's Enough To Leave You...”, along with the pulsating title track and the heavy handed “Slow Burn”, the record showcases the group engaged in the moment, embracing the cause.

In 2010, having been named by local press as one of Austin's "bands on the rise", Monahans began recording and releasing a new song (along with production notes and outtakes) each month to their fans, as a means of including listeners in the process over the course of the year. The project culminated with "Seabirds" featuring Sinead O'Connor as a guest vocalist. The year also saw the band filmed on the legendary Austin City Limits stage for the ACL Satellite Sets series.

The current lineup includes Ramble Creek studio engineer/producer Britton Beisenherz, Roberto Sanchez and Greg Vanderpool (both former Milton Mapes members), and longtime Spoon bassist Joshua Zarbo.


Roam An Empty Space

Written By: (Vanderpool)

Someone said they heard it in the distance humming
Moving along at a hollow pace, a hollow place

And tommorrow we go crawling along
To all the cities
Into every land
With a blind devotion on a one way road

Four in the morning
No diverted sting
Noone to give her shelter
Led by an unguided wing

Go on a tirade with a destination unknown
Who's gonna man the bridge when they kill your engine

It's inconsequential
You're helpless and restless
In a flawed system traveling down light

A poignant discussion
Further distance apart Danger life surrounding
Only some will survive

Vague perception
Fall into the order
How long can it last...How long can it last
All day till you give up
Void of marrow or sound and the unspeakable stuff

And it's all a game to the end
Falling and calling
Waiting to turn it around

All In Love

Written By: (Vanderpool)

While we waited for the time to arrive
Like I hunted for the the tide in the moon glow
The dispersion of the stars in the night
I looked for you
All in love

When the hundred hour flood came alive
Like the thunder-hearted crash in the sky lit
Through the pulse of every foot to the grave
The moment framed
All in love


Low Pining (2007 Undertow)
Dim The Aurora (2009 Misra)
"2010 Recordings" monthly series (2010 The Elusive Goldmine)