MONARCHY
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MONARCHY

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
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"Monarchy - Concluding A Year of Pop On Top"

People say to me: "Jaimie, how come pop music has managed to rocket out of the ashes left by late-'90s conveyor-belt major label dross to defiantly reassert itself as the coolest musical disposition of 2009, bar none?"

And rather than waffle on about the new lifeblood of young hyper-proactive amazing independent songwriters and performers gravitating towards classic, soul-edifying choruses, and not giving a fuck about nonsensical notions of 'indie', I just whack on a song like The Phoenix Alive.

Monarchy are two chaps from London who don't want people to know who they are. How many of those are there at the moment? Mystery projects... I blame the equation: also-ran + laptop + internet + shame.

At a glance maybe they don't exactly make you want to run out and tattoo their busts upon your inner thigh but, hey, this is December 2009, as we've established it's all about the hooks, and I haven't heard too many underground acts with bigger ones than this all year. - NME


"Monarchy"

Missing Phones-esque space age vocoders and disco beats in your life?
You'd be pardoned for wondering who exactly Monarchy are; indeed like the rest of the blog-world nobody truly knows, and whilst their current identity looks set to remain a closely guarded secret we assume it's probably not anyone from Starsmith collaborating with Paul Epworth or indeed Hot Chip or Erasure. So hey Monarchy, we'd welcome the time for you to unveil yourselves as much as to offer us insight into your musical heritage and just because we're nosey. We attempt to finally gather some much needed information on the duo by asking a number of questions, that were well, answered with continued mystery.

Q & A
WHAT'S…
...so special about you, then?
We swim with currents and stand like rocks.

...your worst vice?
Folly. Closely followed by a single-minded pursuit to an unknown destination that doesn’t allow for anything less the complete self control.

…the story behind your name?
We are Monarchy.

...the world coming to?
An ever multiplying pursuit of excess that will surely lead to wisdom.

...your favourite website?
Every day I look at three websites, in order. The Independent. The Satorialist. PopJustice.

...better, analog or digital?
Digital, it’s colder.

...at the top of your shit list?
Repetition.

...are you listening to now?
Tinnitus. Underneath that, I’ve got The Orb’s new album on, some Fever Ray, Grum and Lifelike. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Vangelis lately.

How would you describe your work?
Other-worldly.
- Dazed & Confused


"New Band Of The Day: Monarchy"

Hometown: London.

The lineup: Edward Nigma (vocals), Peter Uzzle (music).

The background: One of the biggest mysteries of the moment – apart, of course, from why New Band of the Day only got runner-up last night at the Record of the Day awards – is: who are Monarchy? They're a duo from London whose two songs thus far (Gold in the Fire and Black, the Colour of My Heart) are a little bit synth-pop, a little bit electro-funk, a little bit French disco, and a little bit Yacht Rock – some wag has suggested they'd sound great at a club played inbetween Daft Punk and Scissor Sisters, and that's not a bad call. There have been a few of these wannabe slick, sleek 80s-fetishising types of late, creating soundtracks for imaginary remakes of Miami Vice, and Monarchy already deserve to take their place alongside the best of them – Tigercity, Private et al.

But the question remains: who are Monarchy?! They will apparently be formally announcing themselves to the world in January 2010 but until then they have chosen to remain anonymous and keep their identities a closely guarded secret, which has caused some speculation among bloggers who have suggested it might be Starsmith or Paul Epworth or a couple of members of Hot Chip under a pseudonym. But Starsmith is already busy producing Ellie Goulding, Epworth's got his own album to do, and Hot Chip will have their fourth album, One Life Stand, to promote in February. Meanwhile, the pair are giving nothing away: their MySpace contains precious little in the way of information, and their only interview to date comprised a series of pithy epigrams such as "We swim with currents and stand like rocks". Cheers for that. In fact, all we really know about them is that they will be releasing their debut single on Neon Gold, one-time home of Passion Pit and Ellie Goulding, and that they have done remixes for Penguin Prison and Fyfe Dangerfield, the founder member of the Guillemots.

Their own tracks are fine: Gold in the Fire starts out like a typical electro jam with spacey synth bloops and starry twinkles and some lovely 10cc-circa-I'm Not in Love aahs before the singing starts, low at first but rising to a falsetto as the music builds to a cosmic disco peak. We can't decide whether the lyrics - "crimson drops upon the ground" and "while the angels gently weep", to cite two purple examples – are poetic marvels or plain terrible, but at least they're trying. Black, the Colour of My Heart is slower and reminds us of recent moody NBOTD alumni – and 2010 hopefuls – Hurts. If anything, their remixes are even better. We have no idea what the original version of Dangerfield's Need the Money was like, but Monarchy have turned it into a near-classic of the retro-80s genus, all swelling strings and a euphoric chorus worthy of ELO or David Essex. If they can harness some of that cheesy energy and apply it to their own music, with overloaded tunes and OTT productions, they could indeed do a Scissor Sisters. Fred Falke and Stuart Price, is that you?

The buzz: "Throw another blanket around me – this is where I want to be!"

The truth: In summer 2010, expect Monarchy in the UK.

Most likely to: Be two highly regarded but hardly household name DJs or remixers.

Least likely to: Be Ant and Dec.

What to buy: Monarchy release their debut single on Neon Gold in early 2010.

File next to: Golden Filter, Golden Silvers, Visitor, Private.

Links: myspace.com/monarchysound - The Guardian


"Breakthrough Band: Monarchy"

It is common knowledge that music blogs used be the main source of exciting new dance music. Used to be? Well, in these times of post-distortion disco, formerly lead by Justice and the Ed Banger camp, the ‘Blog House’ sound that was once rather easy to pinpoint split up in dozens of directions. Some went down the Nu Disco route following Aeroplane, some went underground to experiment with heavy bass and dubstep, countless people tried to follow the romantic and dreamy 1980s vibe of Valerie, many picked up the reduced techno sound dominated by big drums and squeaking bleeps made famous by Dutch producers like Afrojack and a couple of guys are obviously still living under a rock and are still hailing distortion. All of these approaches got something in common: apart from the original producers and very few exceptions, the resulting output is boring as hell.

Thus I find it harder to discover actually interesting unheard electronic music on and off the blogs these days. But luckily, there are exceptions to the rule. Enter Monarchy. Little is known about them, apart from the fact that they are (once again) based in London and we’re dealing with two guys who are definitely not new to the game. Both their debut track ‘Gold In The Fire’ and the all new ‘Black The Colour Of My Heart’ are flash-frozen, blistering cold electro-pop snow crystals, reminiscent of Junior Boys laced with the great gestures of epic songwriting. Digital arctic soundscapes layered with catchy vocals, falsetto and vocoders, sounding as if they were recorded at a place like Ice Station Zebra, where every spoken syllable immediately turns into a fading cloud of ice particles.

Obviously, Monarchy already found a fair amount of fans, including Neon Gold Records, one of the top incubators for upcoming pop sensations, who will release their debut single in February 2010. - Heavy.com


Discography

- Gold In The Fire 7'' on Neon Gold (January 2010)
- The Phoenix Alive 7'' & 12'' on This Is Music (April 2010)
- Love Get Out Of My Way 7'' & 12'' on Mercury UK (August 2010)
- Debut Album on Mercury UK / Universal (Spring 2011)

Photos

Bio

- Monarchy are Ra Black and Andrew Armstrong.
- Both are from Australia, however they met and live in London.
- Ra is the singer of the two. Andrew is the producer.
- They have both been involved in other projects, however they now just focus on Monarchy.
- They both agree Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder are amazing.
- Monarchy don't show their faces or reveal their identity because they feel that artists have become bland and sanitized by the constant broadcast of personal lives. It’s a statement on information overload.
- Monarchy believe art will eventually evolve itself into white space, through the process of entropy.
- Monarchy Live also include a bass player and a drummer.