This week’s ALT 104.5 New Music Discovery Of The Week is “sun keeps on shining” by almost monday!
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All roads lead to California. So many lifestyles, traditions, and personalities simmer in the melting pot of The Golden State. almost monday channel a musical alchemy befitting of their Southern California roots. After countless garage jams, D.I.Y. gigs in the back of a surf shop, and innumerable hours writing together, the San Diego trio—Dawson Daugherty [vocals], Luke Fabry [bass], and Cole Clisby [guitar]—bottle California sunshine in their funky basslines, ecstatic choruses, and danceable grooves. The group’s 2020 debut EP don’t say you’re ordinary consistently surprises on each of its four tracks driven at full speed by the lead single “broken people.”
“We access so many different inspirations in terms of how we create,” states Dawson. “We’re pulling from a lot of stuff. Hopefully, it causes the songs to be unpredictable. At the same time, we can never get away from San Diego. It’s a piece of who we are. The laidback and chill energy finds its way into what we do somehow.”
Lifelong friends, Dawson and Luke grew up together. After a chance encounter surfing, Dawson and Cole also connected. Cole had already developed a similar passion for music by playing guitar and attending numerous blink-182 and Foo Fighters concerts over the years. Through a connected family friend, he got the chance to experience the backstage world and see the innerworkings of the business firsthand, only galvanizing his passion further. Together, the boys rallied around music for fun as they organically developed an irreplaceable chemistry.
During college, they formally launched almost monday. Inspired by everyone from David Bowie and Prince to Justice and Gorillaz, they carefully cultivated a signature style and built up a following with a series of D.I.Y. gigs. As fans of producer Mark Needham [The Killers, Fleetwood Mac], they sent him a cold email and received a response. He emerged as an early champion and de facto mentor, linking them with producer Simon Oscroft.
Heading East to Brooklyn, they laid the groundwork for what would become don’t say you’re ordinary with Mark and Simon as producers.
“That trip was sick,” Cole recalls. “We brought our skateboards and shared an Airbnb with no air conditioning in the middle of summer. Simon’s studio was in this abandoned shoe factory, so it had a cool Brooklyn vibe. It was definitely a crazy experience.”
“We learned so much,” adds Luke. “Simon has really become like a big brother to us.”
Kicking off 2020 and paving the way for the EP, they ignited a string of buzzing anthems, beginning with the shimmying and soaring chants of “parking lot view” and nostalgic whistling and keyboard gloss of “come on come on.” They opened up for multiplatinum indie pop heavyweights AJR and received play on Apple Music’s Beats 1 from none other than tastemaker Zane Lowe. However, the single “broken people” crystallized their sun-kissed signature style with a bold bass bounce and empowering refrain as it’s generated over 5 million combined audio and video streams so far. Additionally, Sofi Tukker contributed a dynamic and danceable late night-ready remix. “broken people” transmits an overarching mission statement for the band.
“We wanted to write a song for people to celebrate the idea that they’re not perfect and that’s okay,” Dawson goes on. “In the world we live in now, you think you need to be perfect, because you see everybody’s ‘perfection’ online. It’s very easy to feel inadequate because of how much exposure there is to everyone putting the greatest hits of their lives online. We tried to write an anthem about being yourself and embracing who you are.”
That core message courses through their debut EP including the title track “don’t say you’re ordinary.”
Cole adds, “We want to reinforce the idea that you’re great for just being here. Too many people write themselves off as ‘ordinary’. It’s as if they disappear in the background. However, we want to celebrate everyone’s individuality.”
“Each song has a different meaning,” Luke leaves off. “We’re saying what’s on our mind, but it all comes back to acceptance of yourself.”
With more music on the horizon, almost monday never stop surprising.