Rich Bennett curiously slept through just about every night of his infancy and grew up dreaming through his days. Involved in many musical projects over the years, he began to retreat back to the bedroom, that familiar place to sleep, dream and play. Inspired by the ethereal-but-intense sonic landscapes of Stereolab, Komeda, Kraftwerk and others, he put together old Nomad organs, shoegaze guitars, electronic drums, and fleshed out ideas that had been fermenting for a long time, producing the initial demos that laid the groundwork for Monocle’s four-song EP, Lounge Act. The combination of sugary pop, dark lyrics, and heavy sounds set Monocle firmly on its path.
Following the April 2006 release, Bennett set out to assemble a live band to further realise his vision. Matt Filler, his cohort from Friendly Bears, remained on board as guitarist. New to the fold were bassist Dan Shuman and drummer Max Goldman, both with extensive backgrounds in jazz as well as pop music, along with new vocalist Sunny Kim, who helped give a different voice to the Monocle sound. In performances, the idea rapidly transitioned into a true band.
Monocle’s first full-length album Outer Sunset reflects a decidedly edgier, denser approach both compositionally and performance-wise. Monocle’s sound evokes Ennio Morricone and Danny Elfman just as much as Stereolab. The band’s hard work in performance of this material during 2007 lifts the music to dizzying heights. What was once an earnest Brooklyn dream promises to become an ethereal landscape that all will frolic within.