Matt Monsoor – The Rower

I had my initial Covid-19 vaccination earlier this week. I know that, for some people, the  days following the first jab have been pretty horrible; fevers, shakes and unbearable headaches as their immune system deals with the dose. I’m happy to report that I felt none of this; perhaps there was an insignificant headache but that might have been a consequence of having to stare at the laptop screen for too long. The day job has been pretty intense this week. 

Matt Monsoor, in his own words ‘a nobody from Wisconsin‘, also had his first jab this week. I know this because he tells me so in an engaging and informative note he sent to me. “A bit of normalcy will feel good again.“, he says “Even though there is still work to be done, with the sight and feel of spring in the air it sure helps.“. Sonic Breakfast does not consider Matt to be a nobody. 

Indeed, on the evidence of recent single ‘The Rower’, Matt has a creativity and vision that demands much attention. “Honestly, I just got tired of people waving their Jesus saves flags while behaving like really awful people at the same time.“, he says. “The hypocrisy and greed in America was becoming more ruthless and embarrassing by the minute. It’s been ten years since my last release so apparently i had a few things to get off my chest.

This commentary on the divided state of America runs deep. I can’t help but reflect upon my own disdain over the current state of this post-Brexit Britain when Matt says “it was a great sense of relief to get egomaniac trump out of the house but also really disappointing to see how it all shook down. So much damage has already been done and the division here has been intense. Trump and his cronies have brought out the worst in everyone. Now in the last week we’ve had two mass shootings to add to the deadliest gun violence in decades yet they still argue about reform. It’s all so sad and incredibly frustrating.

A friend mentioned earlier this week that he’d been told to fuck off when asking another shopper to wear their mask properly in a supermarket. It sounds like things aren’t that different over the pond. “Some people here go about their business as if it’s just another day.“, mentions Matt. “Depending on what state you live in determines what you can and can’t do. They should just call it america cause there is no such thing as united states here with all the divisiveness.

I’m getting distracted. This is supposed to be a piece about ‘The Rower’. It’s quite a tune; a breathy, appetising Blues-based starter gives way to a psychedelic poppy middle and conclusion. For me, it’s a long lost unreleased track by Marc Bolan; fab alt-folk that’s making a comment about those who use religion to nullify their minds. “I think the accumulation of frustration over the last four years came to a head sometime over this last summer.“, says Matt. “I’d spend my time in my shop playing my 55LG2 and found the opening chords to be a relief valve. I’d just play them over and over. I enjoyed the minor chords aggressiveness.The song just kinda fell out of that. Splat. It has felt good to put something out again after such a long gap.

Don’t just take my word for it. Enrich your weekend with ‘The Rower’. It’s exactly the sort of quirky gem that Sonic Breakfast was established for. 

 

 

Circus Of Bones – Simone

Cast your mind back a couple of months and I was singing the praises of Circus Of Bones (here). Their single, ‘A Big No Body’, had really got under my skin and, for a few weeks, I was playing it to whoever would care to listen. It’s fair to say that the response it elicited was mixed with some sharing my enthusiasm but many finding little to love within the punky swagger of the tune. They are not my friends anymore.

Circus Of Bones has been in touch to tell me that a second song and video is now up for release. Simone comes sonically from a similar place to A Big No Body and for that reason I love it. In bursts of spoken word, we learn snippets about Simone. She works at the Weatherspoons on Holloway Road and has a layabout partner at home who can never quite get around to reading the collected works of TS Eliot. She takes the bull by the horns and runs off into the sunset alone.

The simple, lockdown-friendly video amplifies the sense of despair felt by our protagonist. Here we have a chap that’s going stir-crazy on his settee. In muffled and grainy image, we see him put his head in his hands wishing that a bit of Netflix and Chill could again be an option. 

At its heart, Simone is a blues song about a break-up. A partner languishes at home bemoaning the fact that he should have been a bit more dynamic and adventurous when he had the chance. Simone is the one that got away and now he only has the sofa and his PlayStation for company. It’s a song that we can all relate to. 

If you can’t, I suggest that you’re very lucky and very kind and perhaps just a bit too saintly to be reading Sonic Breakfast.

(I jest of course – all are welcome here).