“Essentially the brainchild of Brooklyn based Rich Bennett whose 2010 mini-album on Hidden Shoal Recordings counts as one of that year’s most understated. Monocle‘s debut long player Outer Sunset is a transcendental exercise in ambient dream pop where melody rules supreme. Lead single ‘Chances Glide’ features a vocal contribution from Dead Leaf Echo‘s Ana Breton and is frankly, sublime.”
“Dream Pop is an odd thing. Why would anyone want to perpetuate the idea that their music initiates sleep? I enjoy a few ZZZs, but I generally don’t like my music to produce that desired effect.
Thankfully, Monocle is far from a sleep narcotic. Released by the always awesome Australian label Hidden Shoal, the band chases sweeping synth lines with dance centered bass and vocal melodies. This may be Dream Pop, but it would fit well into any party that reaches the 23rd hour and exposes the emotional passion only the evening hours pooled with alcohol can construct. “Chances Glide” only needs a moment’s glance to recognize its pop authenticity, and with that, a simple three minute musical bliss.”
Excerpt: “a thickly produced concoction of sounds that are both retro-futuristic and contemporary, a la Stereolab. Monocle draws heavily from the lounge atmosphere of ‘50s and ‘60s space-age bachelor pad music, packing their swinging tracks with buzzing synthesizers, and ethereal clouds of bass, drums and guitar. The results have the confessional tone of background music, but the energetic bite of productions that demand the foreground. Sunny Kim sings breezy and cool in the manner of Astrud Gilberto, and the instrumental backings have the antsy trance ambience of the Feelies or Luna. This is music from a future in which analog synthesizers are cutting edge, cold war spy films are all the rage and KPM’s swinging stock music library provides the soundtrack to your life.”
Excerpt: “bandleader Rich Bennett has plenty to be proud of… what makes Outer Sunset so striking is how readily familiar elements get used in a way that’s just distinct and thrilling enough… The root of it may be the sense of controlled melodrama and clever arrangements at the heart of songs like ‘Agent Earle,’ which owes far more to, say, mid-period Roxy Music than to the more obvious sonic signifiers which the songs otherwise suggest. Add in an ear for groovy space-outs that aim for grace and uplift — the near-instrumental ‘Allo Taxi’ is a standout here — as well as some muscular drumming from Max Goldman that generally steers clear of rent-a-Motorik beats in favor of a full-bodied stomp, and Outer Sunset makes for a promising listen.”