Alt-pop powerhouse Monnie has officially dropped her debut solo EP 'Lately' – and now she's filling us in on everything that went into it.
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Monnie has released her debut EP Lately, a six-track sonic adventure that features her brand new earworm Read No Reply, as well as previously released single Bored and her debut track Tell Me Something, co-written with Forest Claudette.
The EP finds Monnie wrestling with the trials, tribulations and, ultimately, the excitement of stepping into the unknown.
“I wrote this collection of songs during a period of growing pains and new adjustments,” Monnie says of the new project. “I was moving into a different part of my creative practice as well as moving physically from my hometown of Meanjin/Brisbane to a new city (Naarm/Melbourne”).
“These songs helped me sort through my overcrowded thoughts and emotions, as well as try to spin them into a fun story or creative learning point.”
“I wanted to capture both the intensity of the excitement for change and the anxiety of the reality of changes in a way that also accurately represents my general attitude to life – even when things are tough, we still need to have fun! Especially when they're tough we should remember to have fun and enjoy what we can, while we can,” she continues.
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“I am so grateful and lucky to live the life I lead, and if there's anything I can do to share some happiness, I will try to do it!”
The EP is lead by new single Read No Reply, which arrives with a stunning video shot in Naarm. The single is a propulsive pop gem that expresses the frustrations of someone ignoring your messages and leaving you on the dreaded ‘Read’.
“Do you know the feeling of people ignoring direct questions you’ve asked them several times over messenger? And you can see that they’ve seen the message? And they owe you money? This song’s about that”, Monnie says.
To celebrate the release of Lately, we caught up with Monnie to give us a track-by-track rundown of the EP and how each of those tracks came together in her own words.
You can also check out Lately in its entirety below.
A dramatic version of how I was feeling about dating - frustrated, unmatched, lost. I feel like I am being constantly misrepresented or underestimated, especially by men.
Ego and posturing is boring to me, it's annoying!!! Writing this song let me be silly, petty, and get out some of that frustration without hurting anybody. I wrote this song with my friend Kobe Hamilton-Reeves (Forest Claudette) during the last lockdown of 2021.
It's always a joy writing music with friends, and writing this song with Kobe was no different!
I also had to record the vocals for the final version with my friend Jonathon Tooke (Cry Club) and you can hear me talking to Jono and him saying 'yep!' to me in the beginning of the song when I ask 'Oh, now?' - which always makes me smile. I love working with my friends!
I’ve been trying to build a balance in my emotional life for a long time. I feel things pretty intensely and I feel like I often go between periods of serious resting and self soothing and periods of over commitment and lots of activity. I’m trying to find a balance but I don’t wanna be bored!!
I wrote this song with Dave Hammer and we spoke about ADHD, attention spans, high-functioning anxiety, and concentration abilities. It was very fun and it was a bit of a new approach to writing for me, and I am so glad I tried something new!
I wrote lately soon after moving to Naarm (Melbourne) and feeling overwhelmed by all the new information; getting to know the layout of a new city, spots to go for a walk in my neighbourhood, routine in the height of COVID lockdown in Victoria, being away from my family and Meanjin (Brisbane) community.
I was excited to get to know everything but scared about how much new information I had to process! My biggest take away from that period was to try to be patient with myself - and I’m still trying!
I wrote Lately with Gabriel Espinosa (Club Angel) while listening to Porches and Jim-E-Stack/Empress Of. I love how this song turned out, one of my favourite and funnest songs if I do say so myself.
Do you know the feeling of people ignoring direct questions you’ve asked them several times over messenger? And you can see that they’ve seen the message? And they owe you money? This song’s about that. I wrote this with Joel Quartermaine (Eskimo Joe) and Edwin White (Vance Joy) which was really fun!
When writing lyrics and melodies, I always think hard about making them the best I can. I love to keep the melody engaging and complementary (of itself and of the instrumentals) and I like to make the lyrics as full of references, plays of words, imagery and word-play.
We really focussed on making the lyrics and melody as interesting and accurate to the song's story/message as possible. Try to hear all the different meanings in the lyrics and send me your thoughts/feelings/feedback/emotions.
I hope this song feels like a hug on a stressful day. It kind of fell out of me after a highly tumultuous time between me and a long-standing friend and it was extremely cathartic to write.
I was listening to a lot of Remi Wolf (especially the song Pool w/ Still Woozy), Dominic Fike and SZA when I wrote this song, and I feel like some of those artists' melody and story-telling motifs definitely influenced this track. Me and Oscar Sharah wrote this in only one session and I still think this song is the most comforting on the EP.
I hope you like it too!
The inspiration for this song and its title was the time that I fell off a balcony at a friend's farmhouse and broke my humerus (haha) and once we got to the hospital (an hour away) the doctors told us it was a spiral fracture.
I was in a sling for 10 weeks and couldn't do anything for myself in the first 2 weeks of that period due to the pain of the broken arm - it was in a very inconvenient spot on my arm - but I am lucky enough that my mum helped me to shower, eat, move, etc.
And I got so good at being patient and watching TV! Some great skills to have. I wrote this song with Gabriel Espinosa as well and I wove together both the story of my broken arm and the story of my crush and love affair with a gorgeous girl in Brisbane (themes of said love affair are also very much a part of the Lately universe as well).