Stone 2021

H

Wye Valley Sessions

90 second previews (128kbps quality)

Available exclusively on vinyl for £15 plus shipping:

Get both the new Wye Valley Seasons album PLUS Sweet Songs of Survival on vinyl for only £25 plus shipping!

Sweet Songs of Survival

music vids + live performances

field recordings

Monc – Field recordings: session 1: “Precious” recorded live at a ‘secret location’ somewhere in the Wye Valley! This song is taken from Monc’s current album “Sweet Songs Of Survival” and was recorded in its simplest form, surrounded by nature, using just one mic and a laptop. Thanks to Paul Stevenson @Visual Hybrid for bringing his camera along! More recordings from other Wye Valley locations to follow soon!

Delicate Creatures is a simple song with a simple message — all we have is us and for all of our apparent differences we are the same — human, organic, emotional, fragile.

I wrote this during the aftermath of post-traumatic stress after my chemotherapy had finished — very difficult but ultimately enlightening. The more open and empathetic we are with one another, the more we can see and understand ourselves and the more positive we feel.
Vocals, guitars, bass, keys, percussion: Monc
Acoustic Bass: Dan Lutz
Female Vocals: Donna Taylor & Jackie Simley
Pedal Steel: David Rothon
Drums: Luke Hartley

Engineered by: Monc, Jason Lord & Steve McCormick
Exec Producer: Jason Lord
Written, Arranged, Mixed and Produced by: Monc
My new single Cardboard Rocketship is finally released into the world! The animation was made by the brilliant Edie Morris. ‘Cardboard Rocketship’ recounts an unforgettable and possibly pivotal moment in my childhood. When I was 4 years old, I sat cross-legged on the living room floor inside the rocketship my Dad and I had made from old cardboard boxes. My Dad handed me his headphones – enormous 1970’s style ones and I placed them on my little head. He then dropped the soundtrack to ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ on vinyl. Suddenly I hear this amazing sound… the opening theme (Richard Strauss’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra”) and it just blew me away! I think it was the first time I’d heard an orchestral piece on headphones. I spent the next 45 minutes sitting there in another world. I believe that’s when I decided I wanted to live in that world forever and create music. ‘Cardboard Rocketship’ is the story of that special moment in time.

I always try and retain that feeling of wonder, freedom and hope throughout my work and my life in general. It’s not always easy to remember that feeling as we ‘grow up’ but it is, in essence, who we are. I hope this song helps you, in your own ways, to feel that… stay positive!
I had some very special mates add their musical talent and soul to this song – here’s what they/we all played:

Vocals, guitars, basses, keys, percussion: Monc
Female Vocals: Donna Taylor & Jackie Simley
Pedal Steel: David Rothon
Cello: Juliet McCarthy
Trumpets: Ron Blake & Daniel Hall
Trombone: Mat Colman
Saxes: Ben Waghorn
Drums: Luke Hartley

Engineered by: Monc, Jason Lord & Steve McCormick
Exec Producer: Jason Lord
Written, Arranged, Mixed and Produced by: Monc

In advance of the release of his new album Sweet Songs of Survival I caught up with Monc to find out what he’s been up to and get the lowdown on his latest album and what it means to him……

It has been a rollercoaster for you since your last album, with highs and real lows. Can you tell us a bit about it?  Sure. After the last studio album way back in 2008, I decided to focus on my documentary scoring. I ended up being part of some BAFTA-winning series such as “One Born Every Minute” as well as “The Hotel” and “24 hours in Police Custody”. I was working with some great people making new, quality work. Between 2013-2015 my partner and I experienced deep personal loss when her mum and dad died suddenly and tragically. Soon after this I was diagnosed with colon cancer and the next few years were spent going through extremely difficult times recovering from cancer. I lightened my workload but continued to score through the chemo – it helped me focus – music is a healer. I wrote all of the music for “The Supervet” and “The Secret Life of The Zoo” during this period. Between 2017-2018 we moved to the Mojave Desert for a while. I wrote many songs including most of this album. I went through a lot of post-traumatic stress, which was very tough, but the songs that came out were all very positive and life-affirming. I now think back to 4 years ago when I was lying in that hospital bed – post cancer operation. I knew then that I had to get back to my songs and make more albums and perform again for as long as I could, and that’s exactly what I am doing.

…..And this is reflected in the title of your new album, Sweet Songs of Survival. Yes, I’m just grateful to be here… whatever the ‘weather’! and the songs reflect that. I hope they help other people going through a hard time and just inspire others. We need all the positivity and help we can get and I just want to do what I can with my music.

And for those who’ve not come across Monc’s music before, how would you describe the album?  Well, I’ve never fitted into a musical genre. It’s not deliberate but I’m really glad I don’t. I would call my style “Indie-Soul”, which I had to make up and that seems to cover it. I borrow from everywhere. My music tends to always have a groove and I take a global perspective… call it whatever you like, as long as its moves you!

And the album structure?  Well, it starts with my early childhood with the first two songs, so it’s chronological to begin with. It then opens up and celebrates the positive sides of human nature. The second half of the album is more reflective.

In your home studio you’ve hundreds of different instruments, some are easily recognisable, some look very exotic, and there are instruments unique to you, designed and handcrafted for specific projects. How many different instruments do you play on this album?  Well, I make a lot of noises as always! I obviously sang all of the male vocals and played all of the guitars and mandolins, of many kinds! I also played all of the pianos, keys, Hammond organ etc. I have two basses on quite a few songs which I like. On this album I shared bass duties with the amazing Dan Lutz. I’m often playing electric bass with Dan playing acoustic bass on top which was a lot of fun and I think really works. I also played down a lot of lead bass, which is really just using the bass like a guitar. I put down all the percussion including the Balafon (African Xylophone) and on a couple of songs played a second drum kit a long side Luke Hartley’s excellent drums… I think that’s about it.

Are you excited to be putting Monc out there again?  Yes, I am excited to get this material out there. Recording with my long-time band members in Los Angeles was the best time I’ve ever had with them. We were just all so happy to be making music together again. I felt a lot of love and we worked hard as always but enjoyed every minute of it. You can feel that energy on every song. This album is the most honest and heartfelt that I’ve ever made.

Since Monc’s last album, you’ve been through so much personally and you’ve immersed yourself in documentary scoring. Do you think Monc has changed over this time? Essentially, I don’t think so. I would say it’s just more distilled, focused and unified. I hope to move people and inspire positivity in these ever-changing uncertain times. I think the overriding message is “C’mon people, let’s get perspective, unify and treasure what we have.”

Monc’s new album Sweet Songs of Survival is due out early this November, and you can keep up to date with the latest news @MoncBand on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Interview by Nickie Moore
nickie@sisusol.co.uk

The calm of the instrumental added to the voice of Donna Taylor borders on perfection. Perfection that is reached the moment the track explodes with the instruments. Sublime.

. Blog n’ Roll


I really enjoyed your song.

Beautiful soft, sensual and touching voice.

Very cinematic song.

We really enjoyed the jazzy sound.

. Listnerd


Stone 2021,  is amazing! A melancholy soundtrack with a lyric powerful voice. That’s proposed change our perspective on life.

. Beco Indie


Sounds cool, kinda cinematic, i like that i like everything of the song, the vocals are way too fine and the music perfect.

. Indie Sonico


I really liked the re-imagination of the song! The vocals are very beautiful, touching and mixes very well with the string arrangements and the piano. The burst and crescendo on the song was amazing, very strong and powerful!

. Som De Peso


Mysterious introduction that instinctively listens to the rest of the song, then comes a beautiful voice, full of talent, high quality, what a delightful song to hear, which delights in music, we love all the elements chosen for this song very much.

. Indieoclock


Beautiful, beautiful song. I really like the arrangements, which combine very well with Donna Taylor’s beautiful voice. A gem

. Luciano Matos


A touching song with great arrangements. The intensity of the female vocal performance is goosebump-inducing on this track brimming with emotion. The arrangements skillfully gravitate around trip-hop, evoking the most beautiful pieces of Morcheeba and Portishead in passing. A track with a refined sound treatment that cannot help but appeal!

. Boulimique De Musique


A truly powerful and grand track, boasting a bold and striking vocal track and expertly composed instrumental layers.

. RockAlt


Extraordinary song, a true piece of art. It was perfect for Memento and It can be lovely again

. Free Indie Culture


Hi Monc, thanks for sharing this nice track. Lovely production and what a vocal! amazing!

. MrLindr


The female voice graces the listening that gives a moment of atmosphere with remarkable sound vibrations.

Four and a half minutes where the fluidity of this piece makes listening enjoyable and intense. The warm and full-bodied voice manages to give the sound an aggressive and very present body, making the path engaging.

A good song for lovers of the classic genre who like to listen to something new and innovative

. SoundsGood Webzine


Wonderful. I remember “Memento”, it was called “Amnesia” here in Brazil and the soundtrack certainly had a lot of merit in the final result. The song reminds me of something from the initial Portishead, with smoky despair in the endless night. Congratulations.

. Celula Pop


Hello MONC, how are you? Beautiful song and the combination of the vocal and the instrumental is sensational … congratulations on the beautiful work and it’s added to the playlist.

. Only Indie Music


MONC arrives from Great Britain with a song that accurately describes this year’s film drama, as if it evokes a hidden sensation within the subsequent disaster of 2020. What we find is a very intense song, in which the sounds are still and expressed in the depth of the voice of the European singer they are the excuse to feel in a movie. Stone 2021 is a huge and very descriptive song. It is like entering the atmosphere of a new world, where the lack of control of your emotions is the order of the day, but the experimentation never ends. Highly recommended if you want an experience based on sound.”

MONC llega desde Gran Bretaña con una canción que describe a la exactitud el drama cinematográfico de este año, como si evocara una sensación oculta dentro de posterior desastre del 2020. Lo que encontramos es una canción muy intensa, en la que los sonidos quietos y expresados en la profundidad de la voz de la cantante europea son la excusa para sentirse en una película. Stone 2021 es una canción inmensa y muy descriptiva. Es como entrar a la atmósfera de un nuevo mundo, donde el descontrol de tus emociones está a la orden del día, per la experimentación nunca acaba. Muy recomendada si quieres una experiencia a partir de los sonidos.

. Indie Criollo


“Does music heal? Oh yeah! Does she heal lonely, empty souls? Yes! And musicians and performers like Monc have a unique flair that helps them hit the right strings of our soul. Check out his new album, Sweet Songs of Survival. Healing is already on your doorstep.”

“Музыка лечит? О, да! Она исцеляет одинокие, опустевшие души? Да! И такие музыканты и исполнители, как Monc обладают уникальным чутьём, которое помогает им нажимать на нужные струны нашей души. Послушайте его новый альбом Sweet Songs of Survival. Исцеление уже на пороге вашего дома.”

Nagamag.com


“Justin Nicholls’ music is unique. It is not possible to convey the feeling of being immersed in his works in words. Wye Valley Seasons is a multi-instrumental album where living instruments are woven together like tree branches. A true therapy for body and soul.”

“Музыка Justin Nicholls уникальна. Ощущение от погружения в его произведения словами передать не представляется возможным. Wye Valley Seasons – мультиинструментальный альбом, где словно ветви деревьев сплетены воедино живые инструменты. Настоящая терапия для души и тела.”

Nagamag.com


I don’t know about you, but with all these repeated lockdowns, I feel like imagination’s been in short supply. We’ve all been forced to treat the mundane as it is, and… well, let’s face it: what’s not mundane at this point?

Be prepared, then, to meet the perfect antidote: Cardboard Rocketship by MONC harnesses the innocence, energy and joy of everyone’s favourite childhood toy, the cardboard box – and the delightful ability of it being absolutely anything you could ever want it to be.

Sonically, there’s a lot going on here – it would probably be easier to list instruments that aren’t dug into the mix at some point here, but despite the channel strip being packed to the rafters the song still retains an absolutely fantastic simplicity about it, and a large amount of charm that had us beaming from ear to ear throughout.

We were particularly taken with the delightfully adorable admission towards the end of Cardboard Rocketship, where the narrator still builds these imaginary rocketships as an adult – just with the pleasure of sitting on slightly more expensive pieces of furniture. These playful and positive sentiments are an utter joy to hear and verge on the inspirational: maybe all we need to do at this point, when we can’t physically leave our own homes, is take our imagination to the final frontier?

BangerSound

To view older Monc releases go here:

Previous Albums

Order Sweet Songs of Survival:

vinyl edition

CREDITS

Website made with no corporate interference on a small blue/green planet orbiting a sun in the outer edges of the Milky Way by a formerly deceased madman by the name of Dr Atomic.

Oh yeah, all content copyleft by Monc and all that jazz.

©1998-2021 Monc.net

See the other side of Monc, creating music for film: www.justinnicholls.com

hosting and design by
ATOMIC designstudios