As intricate, meditative, wordless music is often overlooked in this hungry, fast-paced world, Locally Amped is glad to premiere a new music video from Brooklyn-based Monogold's world of tropical psychedelia.
On "Skylark," the three-piece collaborated with a synchronized swimming team for a calming, enthralling look into the otherworld. We spoke with guitarist/frontman Keith Kelly on the inspiration for the "Skylark," collaborating with a synchronized swimming team and how their new EP, "This Bloom," fits within their broader goals.
Locally Amped: How did you choose to work with these swimmers, The Brooklyn Peaches?
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Keith Kelly: My girlfriend had just joined a Brooklyn synchronized swimming team called The Brooklyn Peaches. [I went to go see them] and it was amazing. When you think of synchronized swimming, you wouldn't think it would be classical. The more I looked into it, the more [it made sense].
Locally Amped: How did the video come together?
Keith Kelly: Usually [videographers] shoot from up above. [We wanted it] more subversive and to look like unidentifiable creatures — like mermaids. It kind of had to be improvised because no one really knew what would look good. Shooting head on didn't look so good, so we shot from underneath.
Locally Amped: What's it like creating a word-less song?
Keith Kelly: For me, it's much harder because I usually base songs on a vocal melody -- it's harder to keep someone engaged [in a song without lyrics]. Most people gravitate towards vocals. It's hard to have the guitar be [that].
Locally Amped: Was there a particular inspiration for "Skylark" ?
Keith Kelly: The song was written and recorded last year. [We wanted it to be] a 1950s, sort of underwater, mermaid-ish, B-movie track. I finished it right around the first time that I saw the Brooklyn Peaches, at a rooftop pool in Midtown. And that's what we stuck with.
Locally Amped: It's definitely a serene, almost otherworldly track. Did you use any non-traditional instruments?
Keith Kelly: I played water-filled glasses with drum sticks, filling them up with different levels of water… a lot of guitar loops. Mike [Falotico], the bassist, played acoustic. We tried to keep it kind of smooth and not so complicated and thick.
Locally Amped: The track is part of "This Bloom," an EP that came out last month. Was Monogold aiming for a particular theme or aesthetic on the record?
Keith Kelly: Ahead of "Good Heavens," [an acoustic album which Monogold will release in early 2015], we wanted to try something a little bit different… kind of washed out psych landscapes with harps, clarinets, flutes, oboes and strings.
This story is part of a Metro Boston and New York music column called Locally Amped. Follow us onTwitterandFacebook.