We’re glad to announce that Faroe Islands- and Denmark-based band MonkeyRat have released a new EP, entitled Isolation.
Blending elements of multiple genres of music, and mainly rooted in funk, MonkeyRat was formed in 2006 in the Faroe Islands by frontwoman Anna Iachino (songwriter, vocalist, rapper, spoken word artist, poet, dancer & storyteller) and Arnold Ludvig (composer, arranger, and bass virtuoso). The husband & wife team later recruited drummer Jens Stoklund and guitarist Alain Apaloo in Copenhagen, Denmark to complete the band. MonkeyRat have released two albums as well as several singles (including “The Child,” for which you can read our review here); and now they’ve returned with their new and captivating EP, Isolation.
Isolation is no stranger to the Faroese people, living 62 degrees north of nowhere, secluded from the rest of the world. However, during the height of the global pandemic, the entire world experienced social isolation on a grand scale; cut off from family and friends. We all hunkered down and kept our distance from everyone, protecting ourselves from infection. The lack of affection took a toll on everyone’s mental health and well being.
In the fall of 2020, Anna was alone in Iceland where she began studying for a Masters in Music with no possibility of interacting and making new friends. One night, out of unbearable loneliness, she tried to contact her husband and musical partner, Arnold Ludvig, composer and bassist of MonkeyRat in the Faroe Islands. Saddened by her inability to reach him, upon her return home from a park, words started overflowing her mind. Inspired, Anna quickly started jotting down all the words that kept pouring from her head and wrote the poem, Isolation. To this day, she is grateful and thanks her husband for being unreachable.
What started out as a poem in Anna’s new artistic practice, Poetry w/ Electronics, took a surprising turn to the sound of psychedelic rock reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s rock music era. The song performed live was recorded at Soundscape Studio in DK, by female award-winning sound engineer, Louise Nipper with MonkeyRat’s award-winning musicians, Alain Apaloo on guitar, Arnold Ludvig on bass, Jens Stoklund on drums and frontwoman, musical director, and poet/lyricist Anna Iachino on vocals. MonkeyRat delivered a pre-release live performance of Isolation at Copenhagen’s Winter Jazz Festival, where the audience went wild, rocking out to the chorus, “What a Crazy World!”
Further detailing the inspiration behind Isolation and the story behind the song’s live performances, Anna tells us:
“One day in Reykjavík, when I started my studies University of the Arts, at the height of the pandemic back in the fall of 2020, I went for a walk in the park. Isolated and saddened that I couldn’t reach my husband in the Faroe Islands, I got inspired. I could no longer contain the unbearable loneliness that I felt as I was walking back to my student flat. Words started pouring out of my head. Briskly, my pace increased, I needed to write the words down before I would forget them all! I ran and finally entered my room, started jotting all the words down – I couldn’t keep up with my thoughts and kept on writing.
When I was finally finished, I started to piece together my words on paper until finally the puzzle of words came together and there was my poem – Isolation.
I then decided on what my new artistic practice would be, Poetry w/ Electronics. Performances of Isolation and other poems were given Copenhagen Jazz Festival in Denmark, VetrarJazz Festival and Summartónar Festival in the Faroe Islands, and Skáholt Summer Concert Series Festival in Iceland in 2021.
However, when MonkeyRat toured the Faroe Islands last autumn, I decided to try playing Isolation with my band on guitar, bass, and drums. The result was a build up to the climax and peak of the song rocking out to the chorus, “What A Crazy World” transforming to psychedelic rock with my amazing musicians – the people loved it! That’s when I decided to record it live Soundscape Studio in Copenhagen, DK.
Now with the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in Shanghai, humans are still experiencing it – Isolation is a sign of the times.”
Isolation begins with droning synths and subtle chiming percussion, interspersed with otherworldly guitar effects, creating a perfectly eerie and hypnotic atmosphere for Anna’s compelling spoken word poetry. Just under 5 minutes into the track, the line “As you finally are faced with four walls, let them burst!” is punctuated with a loud note from all the instruments, foreshadowing the beginning of the melodic part of the song; the bass and drums then enter the mix, creating a psychedelic rock groove that nicely locks in rhythm with Anna’s vocals, while echoing electric guitar notes are soon joined by powerful guitar chords, later underscoring the chorus (“What a Crazy World!”). Isolation then leads into a spectacularly frenetic guitar solo; and as the final guitar notes simmer down at the end of the second chorus, the song instrumentally approaches a return to its beginning, as droning synths and chimes calmly highlight the concluding verse.
While conveying an important message that will resonate with listeners in current times, Isolation will also appeal to fans of poetry and psychedelic rock alike—succeeding wonderfully in realizing MonkeyRat’s creative vision. Highly recommended listening.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also check out her official website, and Tutl or her profile on Reverbnation.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!!!
This coverage was created via Musosoup #Sustainablecurator