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The blazing skyline of Sydney, Australia, illuminated beautifully from dusk until dawn, offers a clear indication of the city’s vibrancy. Though geographically distant, the coast of the Tasman Sea regularly gives us many talented foreign artists. Most recently, the Monks of Mellonwah have been on the rise to fame, taking the Australian alternative music scene by storm but also being spotlighted by the ever-watchful eye of Canadian and American college radio.
The four-piece indie rock band have been compared to blues rock acts such as the Black Keys as well as older progressive artists like Porcupine Tree, but their unwillingness to be defined by a single genre has allowed them a distinct advantage to experiment and persevere creatively. They are aggressive, to be sure: all passion and chaos. Those familiar with their Neurogenesis EP will recall a heavy rock album with simple yet powerful choruses. But their more recent offerings delve into more orchestral territory, with strains of classical audible in the brilliant upcoming Sky & the Dark Night EP.
In fact, this EP is something else entirely, if only because it takes an utterly new musical concept and embraces it with unparalleled passion. The album, which will be released April 1, essentially consists of a single song, drawn out over an eight-minute timespan. Vocalist Vikram Kaushik’s smooth, lightly accented drawl exemplifies the melancholy and the wistfulness present in the continuous refrain “I just can’t breathe.” There are other colourful moments as well; at times, no lyrics are present and the stunning musical backdrop swiftly falls, alone but confident.
The band has been around since their Stars are Out EP was released back in 2010, but they have never once wavered in their dedication to the creation of truly meaningful and timeless art. Their grandiose, dramatic sound is huge enough to fill stadiums but there is ironically not a trace of commercialism to be found within their music.
Sky & the Dark Night is nothing less than symphonic artistry in its purest and rawest form, and serves to irradiate the unbelievable genre-spanning talent possessed by the Monks.