Next Friday (16 June), MONOGRAMS will release his third album: ‘A Fine Commitment’, via PaperCup Music.
Featuring previous singles “Hi Low” and recent single “Carry The Weight”, ‘A Fine Commitment’ finds Monograms expanding his portfolio of post-apocalyptic sounds into dark and uncharted territories. Careering through the pulsing industrial progressions of “Wink Void” to the cybernetic surf-rock of “Say It Away”, the shadowy shoegaze of “Walk on Weather”, the pneumatic electronica of “Com Plex”, via the occasional foray into far-out folk (“Sim Pull”); Monograms fuses together sounds from the fields of post-punk, new-wave, industrial, gritty pop, and beyond in this collection of 12 dynamic, future-facing tracks.
Scour beneath the sonic melee however and you’ll find some of the most visceral lyrics of the Monograms catalogue to date. Documenting a journey of personal mental health struggles over the two year period in which it was made, and how the music he was making offered him a road to recovery, Ian says of ‘A Fine Commitment’:
“Let's just say I went through a time in my life while making this record where I almost lost myself and my mind a couple times. The process of this album felt like a fork in the road where I finally started letting go a bit of my past and trying to predict my future. The tension wasn't directly about the creative process but that was often the trigger. It's a long story but I've been facing those divots in my life a lot more lately and trying to be more real about it cause it's not something I think about often... but I truly did almost completely lose myself in the span of time while making this record more than once. But I’m still here, still living, still dreaming.”
Flitting through themes with an erratic and breakneck pace, it's a record that finds the artist contemplating global issues on the macro scale, right down to the mental minutiae that make us tick. Whether its making observations on politics and a sense of alienation in wider society (“Collider”), to candid expressions of feeling the weight of the world (“Say It Away”, “Carry The Weight”), trying to predict the future (“Wink Void”), or reflecting on traumas of the past and how we can move on (“Sim Pull” / “Com Plex”); ‘A Fine Commitment’ takes the pain and paranoia of an especially turbulent period and exorcises it with exhilarating outcomes.
"This entire album is pretty personal to me” says Ian. “I chose HI Low as the first single cause sonically it spoke to me in a way that I wanted to display but also the story of the song is important to me cause I might think that sometimes music tries to kill me but ultimately it's kind enough to save my life instead."
Entirely written and recorded by Monograms in Brooklyn, the album was produced with the assistance of Ben Rice and promises a thrilling meltdown of sounds and boundaries.
Monograms is the alias of NYC-based solo artist Ian Jacobs. Pointillism lyrics, lucid beats and angular melodies create a driving backdrop for what has been coined as "Nuke-Wave". Since the project’s conception, Monograms has supported Cloud Nothings, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Ezra Furman, Sunflower Bean, Man or Astro-Man?, A Place To Bury Strangers, Girl Band, Gøggs, New Candys, Juan Waters, DMA’s Buscabulla and more. That trajectory coupled with U.S. tours and a solid array of streams and words from valued outlets such as Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, the 405, Alt Citizen, Earmilk and Adhoc has also led Monograms' music to be used in film and television (Shameless, SXSW Film Festival and more). Monograms is Brooklyn's Nuke Wave.