Monocle Band

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The magic of the western United States. The mysticism of Colorado. The richness of the Americana-folk music scene. Boulder-based quintet Monocle Band takes all of these influences, and combines them into a sonic destination – sweeping fans into a storied journey through bluegrass, roots rock, and beyond.

With the new album The Clearing—their second full-length overall, which is set for release on Friday, October 20—the band is accomplishing the goal of staying true to its established bluegrass and folk roots, while opening the door up to more diverse influences. The addition of more electric guitar, piano, and different sonic textures adds up to a gleaming, all-encompassing Americana sound that will please both new and old aficionados of the group alike.

Recorded at the iconic eTown Studios and Cinder Sound Studio in Boulder with acclaimed producer/engineer John McVey at the helm, the set explores a variety of lyrical themes, including redemption through nature, struggles with self-doubt as well as self-belief, hope and love, mystery, magic, depression, and dreams. The songs tell stories that center on realistic characters, yet explore evocative plots, all transposed through singer Monica Marie’s crystalline vocals.

“Townspeople cling to hope as wildfire rages around them. Lovers’ prayers are answered on a rain-soaked creek side. Nameless figures meet with wonder in a moonlit clearing,” says Marie. “There are a lot of fascinating characters in this record. And we tried to make sure that the instrumental textures we came up with are as deep and varied as those characters are.”

Monocle Band was formed in 2010, when Monica Marie, the daughter of a musical Colorado family with a voice honed in choirs, met songwriter and guitarist Bill Huston, a disillusioned academic with a raconteur’s eye for character. A shared passion for the stark beauty of the music of Gillian Welch, as well as muddy blues, old-time fiddle tunes, country-rock rave-ups, and the Colorado bluegrass scene led to the project’s inception. Marie and Huston started writing songs together and the sound of the group was soon solidified by the addition of Dave Weinand (upright bass), Emily Rose Lewis (fiddle), and Todd May (drums).

The group released their debut eponymous album in 2013, which was quickly met with national radio play and acclaim from the Americana scene, as well as stylistic comparisons to such artists as Welch, the Lumineers, Allison Kraus, Ryan Adams and John Prine. Monocle Band will be touring select dates in support of The Clearing. To keep up with their schedule, check monocleband.com.

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