It’s about time an indie band released a recording that turns one’s mind to whisper tubes. Mon Marie’s eponymous release makes more use of the echo effect than a Postal Service hit. The result is a ghostly breed of music that wouldn’t sound out of place on the moon.
What began as an alt-folk duo in Michigan in 2005 has evolved into a ballad-heavy, Washington-based fusion of western guitar pluckings and strained emo vocals. John Smithson may sing a little above his natural register, but what member of the Pacific Northwest music pool doesn’t these days?
The only real problem is the tracks tend to blend together. Too much reverb, too heavy a dependence on the same pauses in rhythm, what the band refers to as “dance beats.” Beautiful, but monotonous. You can tap your foot and sway to it, but the album won’t live in your stereo.
“Loss of Lip” proves Mon Marie’s real saving grace, increasing the tempo for a four-minute reprieve from the musical equivalent of the eastern Montana landscape.
Conceptualization will be the key to this band’s future success, with more evolution in lyrics and composition. As it stands, Mon Marie is a decent start for what could be great band.
Mon Marie plays Dauphine’s Sunday, July 20, at 8 PM with Deny the Dinosaur, The Globes and Don’t Tell Sophie. $5.