It’s the best part of being an artist: having the fluidity to bend genres in the hopes of finding your own sound. This process can be completely experimental and sometimes comes out not-quite-right, but other times hits the high mark. Take for example the journey of Young Monks. They started off as mates Sam Koster, Stephen Reinhart and Matt Santos doing their thing, writing and producing music at the tender age of ten (back then I was still trying to figure out my 12 times tables), with their names attached to post-hardcore Myspace bands* The Blaqk Year and Beyond December, then, one day, there was a switch.
Young Monks have made the switch, trading in their hi-gain post-hardcore roots for a new sound combining upbeat rhythms with a pastiche of psychedelic pop melodies.
People might one day wake up and decide to have honey in their coffee instead of sugar, but no, these incredibly talented blokes decided to switch to the world of psych pop and electronica. Many years of experimentation and different projects led to the melodic psychedelic pop band that is Young Monks. Thank that sweet honey for the change.
Hailing from Canberra, the lads waggishly known as YOMO have recently made a splash in the capital’s music scene, owning to their extremely interesting pastiche-pop sound. The experimental five piece consists of mates Sam Koster, Stephen Reinhart, Matt Santos, Tommy Caldwell and Zac Gaudie. Young Monks embrace everything peaceful, loving, raw, natural and a little bit strange, which is completely reflected in their tracks. triple J Unearthed have already been sniffing around the boys with two early tracks, Original Sin (which features vox from Matt) and So Much Better, getting plenty of love on the digital channel.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199620964″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The latest single from the hypnotic five-piece, Told You So, is a patchwork psychedelic trip that begins with Charlie Chaplain’s last speech in The Great Dictator accompanied by breezy, slacker rock rhythms, hinting at a bit of an Avalanches influence. It’s tightly produced, with hi-fi drums and sparkling guitars. Sam and Matt’s hazy reverb-rich vocals are gorgeously unpredictable, creating a huge commotion in the track with a drawl reminiscent of Cake‘s John McRea. There is still a rawness to their sound, implementing acoustic guitar, drums and bass, amongst a wonderfully weird pastiche of psychedelic samples and synthesisers, and fuzzy riffs. The pop poetry delves into topics surrounding the spiritual dimension and problems of humanity.
As fresh as can be, Young Monks just played their first show at Turning Man on Saturday with talks of an album coming out soon. Jump on over to their Bandcamp page where all of their tunes can be downloaded for free!
*BEWARE: There are videos of the lads in their pre-pubescent “Myspace scene” stage doing Straya things.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/209286796″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]