The title of Monica LaPlante’s EP shows just how long it has been sitting on my desk. Yes, I know that the pandemic is not over but the days of feared quarantines seem to be gone *knock on wood* and life is getting back to where it was. Sure, there are scares every now and then but can we all just take a second to reflect on the craziness that we all made it through over the past few years? Sure, I’m a little late to the draw when it comes to checking out this EP but I’m sure it will still hit me just right as Monica LaPlante- a Twin Cities musician who I have caught live a few times now– has never let me down.
The EP kicks off with “Compression”. A funky bassline and beat gets this track started before Monica’s smooth yet not overly produced vocals come in and take this track to its home. With lyrics that truly take me back to the first few weeks of the pandemic where I was stuck in the house other than going to work, I was surprised how the lyrics still come off as super relatable. Overall, this opening track is super catchy and bouncy but the words keep it from being a highly optimistic track which is a trait that I truly adore. By the end of this nearly four minute song, the bassline and drum beat was safely secured in my heart and soul but this EP didn’t stop.
“So Alone” calms things down ever so slightly but keeps with the boppy energy laid out in “Compression”. Again, I found the bassline and Monica’s vocals to be the stars of this track. Still silky smooth, her voice has a bit more of a sultry vibe to it and the laidback beat brings an almost jazzy interpretation to her song. That being said, this is not a jazz song. It’s almost a surf-rock inspired indie-singer-songwriter feeling which somehow warmed me from the inside out. The vocals here are absolutely dreamy and I feel like they really showcase Monica’s talent and incredible range.
As soon as “The Light Comes From Within” hit my house, l knew it was going to be my favorite track on this quick four-song EP. It instantly hits with a sense of attitude not heard in the previous tracks while keeping with Monica’s signature sound. There’s a punk edge to this song both in her vocals and the instrumentation but I was still getting hints of that surf-rock vibe I got in “So Alone”. In addition to the new punk attitude, there were moments throughout this song that had an almost psychedelic vibe to it. Sadly, this song is the quickest track on the album at just two and a half minutes long so I, naturally, had to listen to it twice before moving onto the final track of this release.
“Do It Clean” closes out this EP perfectly. It has a little bit of everything. It has some of the attitude from “The Light Comes From Within”, some of the surf-punk vibe from “So Alone”, and the brilliant songwriting from “Compression”. As if to not let you forget how versatile Monica is, she also throws an almost new-wave style into the mix making this track feel completely different from the others yet still on the same page. “So It Clean” was the perfect ending for this EP because, well, it doesn’t really end anything. It makes you want so much more from Monica which is just what you’ll get if you dig into her discography. She has a lot out there so, if you enjoy this EP, I highly suggest spending some time digging into her other releases!
My Favorite Track(s): “The Light Comes From Within”
For Fans Of: Brilliant Songwriting; Surf Rock Tendencies
Mosh-ability: 3 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie and Alfie were curled up on the couch; Autumn was stalking the kitchen trying to get me to feed her dinner early
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.4 out of 10
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