We’re glad to announce that London, United Kingdom-based artist Mono XL has released a new single, entitled “Brown Eyes.”
Mono XL is the latest and most personal project of multi-instrumentalist frontman Mike de Lis. Initially a solo project, de Lis is finding his own voice in Mono XL, which could be described as a nostalgic combination of 80s rhythms, synth riffs, and atmospheres, alongside rock guitars and recognizable melodies. Inspired by a wide swath of influences, ranging from Bowie to Prince, Hot Chip, Moderat, The Voidz, and Radiohead, de Lis’ music as Mono XL is not easy to pin to any one genre.
Following Mono XL’s 2021 single, “Where I Belong” (our review here) is the artist’s newest single, “Brown Eyes.” A groovy and deeply beautiful song, “Brown Eyes” immerses the listener in Mono XL’s sonic universe made of energetic synth leads, atmospheric pads, sharp electric guitars, and catchy melodies and beats that will take you on a trip through love-longing, nostalgia, and psychedelia. It is equally uplifting and melancholic, and talks about how falling in love makes you feel alive—even if it is unrequited.“It is really about how sometimes we rely on pain to feel alive, and unrequited love can be very painful. I think most of us have been there. And in the song I represent it in a look to those brown eyes, that make you feel in love and in pain on equal parts, but definitely alive,” says Mike de Lis.
For this single, Mike de Lis has been collaborating with producer Piti Varela, who will co-produce (along with de Lis) the first Mono XL studio album, to be released later in 2022. About his latest single and plans for the future, de Lis says, “It’s starting to feel closer to the sound I am looking for, especially in the long bridge that goes till the end. I am planning to record an album in 2022 and it will be full of this kind of instrumental parts where I mix electronica with more rock vibes while trying to keep it groovy. Also for this track, I got to collaborate with a producer, Piti Varela, who is very talented and is going to keep working with me in the production of the album. We have already started actually.”
“Brown Eyes” begins with bright synth leads accompanied by driving electronic rhythms, deep bass notes, and reverb-laden electric guitar melodies, creating a feeling that is at once wistful yet upbeat. Mike de Lis’ introspective lyrics soon join in for the first verse, their catchy vocal melodies harmonizing quite well with the synths and guitars while building further on the track’s nostalgic mood. During the choruses, backing vocals add a pleasant depth to the track’s sound, nicely underscoring de Lis’s thoughtful lyrics; while later on, the tempo slows down as a psychedelic instrumental passage takes over for the remainder of the track, led by the retro-sounding tones of layered synths. “Brown Eyes” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, highlighting Mono XL’s brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of indie- and alternative rock alike.
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