Boulder bluegrass band to play Wednesday in Steamboat
Steamboat Springs — Boulder band Monocle’s debut album, released last month, is more of a journey than a sprint among music standards today.
In one song, vocalist Monica Whittington sounds like Alison Krauss singing about heartbreak and love. Her voice is delicate and assertive.
The next stop brings out the crispness of the band, with each member of the quintet proving its musical chops.
From there, it’s bluegrass, folk, Americana, jazz and even throwbacks to good ol’ fashioned ballads. Oh, and there’s that sweet, sweet voice of Whittington’s.
“I really think (this album) is an indication of the influences in our eclectic musical backgrounds,” she said. “We highlight all those avenues. I think we make a clear statement. That’s why we spent so much time on it was to hone in on the sound.”
Monocle opens its debut CD release party at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Carl’s Tavern. The show is free.
The band, which formed in 2010, has played several times in Steamboat Springs and decided to start its release tour in the Yampa Valley.
It took a while to get the album out, Whittington said, because it was important for the band to find its voice in the music scene. The album was recorded and produced by Dave Tiller at his Lyons studio, The Distillery Recording Studio.
Whittington said it was an emotional process writing an album that took more than a year to record. It became even tougher when the floods this summer destroyed Tiller’s house and studio.
“We got close with them and captured Lyons as a town and community,” she said. “When the floods happened, we watched the river tear apart his part of town and tear apart his house. It was very emotional.”
With the release of its self-titled debut, Monocle becomes an instant band to watch. Whittington said the band has started to play bigger shows and has a strong following in the Boulder area. The album, and the immediate response to it, reaffirmed the decision to continue to pursue the musical dream.
From the clean-cut guitar, fiddle, mandolin and upright bass sounds to Whittington’s powerful voice that carries with it relevance and emotion, Monocle seems poised to break out in the next year.
“I really can’t bring myself to do anything but this,” Whittington said. “I just feels like we’re doing the right thing.”
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