The Hudson Valley based band, monarch. release their EP, Sweet Little Things, on June 17, a stunning debut with five tracks sure to get you dancing. The project comes after the release of the single “Faces In Crowded Places,” in November 2021.
Comprised of Sarah Hartstein (vocals), Johnny Lu (drums), Nick Pappalardo (guitar), and Jesse Hartstein (bass), the band pulls inspiration from multiple genres and influential artists, like Fiona Apple and Amy Winehouse. The group began Sweet Little Things in the summer of 2021 and is currently touring throughout New York.
monarch. originally formed in 2017 and consisted of just Sarah Hartstein and Lu. As the duo started writing this most recent project, they knew they needed more, and the band’s debut EP represents that full evolution.
The EP is sonically cohesive without being repetitive, as monarch. explores a range of tempos, instruments, and melodies. Themes of love, passion, growing up, and letting go of hardships make up the EP, the lyrics honest and relatable for any listener.
With a strong start on vocals from Sarah Hartstein on “Morning Coffee,” the opening track on the EP grabs your attention and then keeps it with catchy lyrics and upbeat instrumentation. The introspective lyrics over a bubbly tune make it easy to get swept away in the music.
The title track slows things down, at first. Soulful, the track drives the group to explore their blues roots and encompasses the overall theme for the project. Guitarist Pappalardo shines with an engaging solo over an energetic drum track.
Overall, the EP showcases the immense growth of the band, expanding on their talents and experimentation in their first single, “Faces In Crowded Places.” Energy and spirit intertwine throughout the EP, making it a joy to listen to.
The last of the five tracks, “Naive,” reminds audiences we can easily get lost in harmful relationships. Heart-wrenching lyrics from Hartstein pull you in, and intense instrumentation builds up for a passionate ending to the debut EP.
monarch. shines on this project, and certainly warrants one dancing around screaming the lyrics on repeat. The band has shows across NY in the promotion of their newest project, with dates well into the summer.
Key Tracks: Morning Coffee, Sweet Little Things, Naive