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paris_monster - 'Lamplight' Album Review


1. Deep Under Darks

2. Malcolm Hart

3. Andalusia

4. Hot Canyon Air

5. Moles

6. Corning, NY

7. My Disarming

8. Old Dreams

9. Rome, On A Frigid Morning

10. Deathbed Song

“Lamplight” is the debut album from Brooklyn’s paris_monster (or Paris Monster, depending on your preferences). Formed in 2012 the band features multi-instrumentalists Josh Dion (vocals, drums, keyboards) and Geoff Kraly (bass and modular synth). The band has released a number of singles and EP’s prior to recording this album, including in 2018 “Moles” which is the lead single.

Now you know I’m a great one for reading the blurb and scoffing so, upon reading the words ‘multi-instrumental’, I’ll admit my heart sunk a little…especially when I read that they often play instruments simultaneously – if they’ve recorded it as a ‘live vibe’ then is this going to sound awful?? I am glad to say, however, that all fears were banished within 3 minutes of listening – in one of those sweet, but oh so rare moments, the music really did live up to the blurb’s description.

Opening track “Deep Under Darks” is 29 seconds of what can only be described as electronic noodling (not a good start…please don’t let this be an ‘experimental’ album) but it then segues nicely into “Malcolm Hart” which, like a lot of the tracks, showcases slow Funk drum and bass with Josh’s stellar vocals. It’s very mellow and has almost a Jazz club kind of vibe to it. The rest of the album kind of follows this template, with “Andalucia”, “Hot Canyon Air” and lead single “Moles” being particular highlights. “Old Dreams” deviates slightly from the norm, giving more emphasis to the electronics, but is captivating, with Josh giving a really powerful but soulful vocal delivery. It also contains the line ‘Stupid men need strong women’…a sentiment which was also echoed in the current Mrs. W’s chat up line! There are a couple of additional noodly tracks (“Corning, NY” and “Rome, On A Frigid Morning”) thrown in there for good measure which actually serve to keep the flow of the album, rather than standing out like a hurty pollex.

Overall this is a great album but hard to describe – it’s definitely one for chilling or driving to, or if you simply want to enjoy good music. I hesitate at calling it ‘mood music’ - it’s got more substance than that description usually implies – it’s not the kind of album you throw on in the background while you discuss house prices over the crème brulee…not that I indulge in those kind of soirees you understand (for a start, I’m pretty sure you need friends for that kind of thing!).

“Lamplight” is due out ‘early’ 2019 and is definitely worth checking out.

Review - Chris Watson

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