FOLLOWING the announcement of another lockdown, the dreampop duo Robbie and Mona are happy to announce the delayed release of their debut album, EW, out on January 29th via Spinny Nights. And they’re teasing for it today with the video for the single drop, “Wallpaper”.
The partnership of William Carkeet and Eleanor Gray, Robbie & Mona have found a vessel for their eclectic and atmospheric pop, combining hazy shimmering synths matched with Mona’s understated vocals.
The project began when William offered to produce Eleanor’s second album; that collaboration quickly transcended into the genesis of what is now Robbie & Mona. The majority of EW was recorded in the cellar of Bristol’s legendary The Louisiana, with additional bedroom recordings.
Influence by film soundtracks, “Wallpaper” would not be out of place in a David Lynch movie: that mix of tenderness and climactic synths, with guitars used sparingly around programmed drums.
Yet there was a far odder inspiration for this track, as Mona explains: “It’s about feeling quite passive and ghost-like, like you’re in the wrong realm, just an observer. The intro vocals were delivered without any thought in a bit of a daze.
“I think the tightness of the music was weirdly inspired by Napoleon Dynamite. We were watching it and really enjoyed how all the songs towards the end were just so deadpan.”
As members of that Bristolian collective Pet Shimmers, there is a fearlessness of combining sonic textures with familiar song structures, yet the songs carry that vibe of lo-fi indie. The album explores emotional complication and the feeling of alienation – it rewards multiple listens.
This minimalist approach to composition helps create an atmospheric aura of work for this duo who embrace harmony and theatricality to wonderful effect.
Robbie & Mona’s EW will be released by Spinny Nights on January 29th on digital download and cassette; you can pre-save or pre-order yours now at their Bandcamp page, here. Follow Robbie and Mona on Facebook and Instagram.