Album Review: Mono Club – Sky High and Submarine

There’s always something about an album that you can listen to straight through without thinking “I wish this song would hurry up” or “this one sounds like the last five tracks” and this is one of the very few of them. ‘Sky High and Submarine‘, the long-awaited debut album from Mono Club is finally set for release tomorrow and it’s an album I’ve personally been looking forward to for a while now. The band who’ve been previously dubbed as a “British Fleet Foxes” may have a lot to live up to, but they’ve knocked it out of the park with this one. If you listen to just one album this year, make it this one and you certainly won’t be disappointed, you have my word.

‘Sky High and Submarine’ is a charming, well thought out album with intricacies tackling heartbreak to contentment throughout. The album starts out on the soothing, but experimental ‘Sour Mash’ that grows into something almost cinematic, although it’s a bit chaotic in places with a mixture of sounds keeping you on edge throughout. The album is engaging and elegant from the word go with moments such as album namesake, the super catchy ‘Sky High and Submarine’ and ‘Best Laid Plans’ setting a tone for the album.

One of the stand out tracks here, ‘Other People’s Worlds’ takes a much more piano-ballad style breaking up the album for the most part of the track. At least you think on first listen… The track quickly builds into something much more substantial before ending up at its emotional outro. Moving from a piano ballad to a heavier guitar interlude to then be joined by twinkly synth melodies, it changes the track into something completely different than how it started out but it works brilliantly.

Over The Moon’ is completed by its funky bassline with strutting, roaming qualities to it which contrasts the more monochrome vocals and harmonies throughout. The piano use throughout the track is enough to give you chills. Dreamier aspects also take over the album especially throughout previous singles ‘Place Called Home’, one in which highlights Lyla Foy’s delicate but still powerful vocals and ‘Memory Critical’. More so on ‘Memory Critical’ which ends up in a happy, worn-out, even dream-like atmosphere by the end contrasting its funkier, swampy basslines. Drawing towards the end of the album, ‘Heaven Was Her Heart‘ is a heavier track with rougher, angular guitars and layered, hypnotic vocals as well as hints of disco here and there.

‘Sky High and Submarine’ has something enchanting about it and is a breath of fresh air through its captivating, jangly indie-rock tracks. The album would be lost without its hit-the-spot vocal harmonies which add colour throughout. It’s an album that needs to be listened to in one go with each track well and truly deserving its place on there. With stand out tracks such as ‘Other People’s Worlds’, ‘Best Laid Plans’ and ‘Heaven Was Her Heart’ it begs the question, how soon will it be before this band are huge?

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