Local band Monteath just released their new album "Moonlight" and it feels like a train journey with many stops and sights to see, yet enough familiarity to say the whole trip was still within one country.
It begins with a very strong opener, and quickly rolls over into a string of tracks that knit well together giving it an indie-pop feel with some rock’n’roll elements. The lead singer transmits a lot of emotion over these simple yet effective chord changes and rhythmically influential drums, yet the general aesthetic still leans more towards a positive sound, especially on tracks like Follow My Heart (They seem to be able to do a lot with so little instrumentation).
The album picks up some groove around the midway mark, where it begins to get a bit more fleshed out with the bass, some neo-funk vocal lines, and even some discotheque synth for good measure. This is where the album starts to blend their songwriting in with some interesting ideas on tracks like Masks or Driver.
Just as the genre-bending starts taking off, the tempo then drops a little towards the back of the album, almost mirroring the opening. Though this receding acceleration often works well, as it did ultimately on Moonlight, if some continuation however of those electro elements was over to the last stretch it would have been a gamechanger to see it close with a dollop of alt-artistry. They certainly have the musicianship to do so. Nevertheless, they retained a sound which is noticeably their own and the project clearly possessed that blood-type from start to finish, with some pleasant deviations every now and again.
The UAE music scene is gradually forming its identity and perhaps this is the garden in the desert that's housing the cross-pollination of locally raised talent, with an assortment of diversified genres. We’ve seen trap stars, metal bands, and everything in between. Moonlight is a refreshing case of a local artists’ fearlessness of carving their own path and producing an original composition that is clearly born from the artists’ very own musical instincts and abilities.
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Listen to the album here
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