Monograms started a Brooklyn bedroom recording experiment that evolved into a full band. The band features frontman Ian Jacobs (multiple instruments), Ali Yildiz (drums), Michelle Feliciano (synth), and Devan Davies-Wood (bass). The dark and moody tone to their music sets Monograms apart from other mainstream pop. Their sound manages to remain ambient and musically interesting without becoming chaotic or unharmonious. The combination of Jacobs’ songwriting talent–his artful and poignant lyrics, clear beats, and angular riffs–allows him to truly make each song its own unique world with a notable landscape.
The newest LP, Only a Ceiling Can Stay Inside Forever, was recorded in Jacobs’ home studio during these past months of the COVID-19 quarantine. The album is a culmination of his feelings towards the social justice issues which plague America today. “Everyone I know just feels really frustrated about the situation,” says Jacobs. “The politics, the sacrifices everyone is making, and the reality has been a very twilight zone-like kind of time for the entire world and the country.”
Jacobs expressed that in the midst of uncertainty and fear, he “just needed to do something creative to bob and weave with all these things, so [he] just started writing some words down and recording some ideas and experimenting.” Even though the songs were different, “after a few weeks, it all started to spiral into what felt like a cohesive thought” for Jacobs.
“Lines,” featuring Kat E., is a perfect representation of Monograms’ dark and brooding synth. Jacobs colors the song with what feels like melodic distortion that reminds the listener of the fear and uncertainty that has troubled all during these past few months. “Lines” is thoughtful and modern and showcases Monograms’ truly unique sound.
Only a Ceiling Can Stay Inside Forever is available on all streaming platforms, and can be purchased on Bandcamp. 50% of all Bandcamp sales will be donated to Know Your Rights Camp, an organization whose “mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.”