MONOWHALES don’t care about living up to your expectations with their new single “RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)”. Their most recent offering since the release of 2018’s Control Freak sees the band traversing new sonic territory, combining heavy bass guitar, pounding drums, and shimmering synths to create a backdrop for the song’s infectious hooks. This slick and distinctly modern sound was cultivated by producer Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Brave Shores), marking a departure from the back-to-basics approach MONOWHALES took to the recording of their last EP. Says guitarist Zach Zanardo on the recording process, “Ryan Worsley flew in from Vancouver to produce ‘RWLYD’. We wanted him to experience the frigid Toronto winter that is embodied by the cold synth sounds of the track. Recording was quick and easy, with lots of inspiration. Zero beer this time, but tons of toys to layer into the arrangement.”
While “RWLYD” could just as easily find itself spinning at a house party or as part of your favourite work-out playlist, the lyrics explore darker themes. After a difficult year where each band member faced deep personal struggles, “RWLYD” represents a release from the ever-present crush of outside expectations. “As an indie band we don’t exemplify the cliche of happy-go-lucky artists pressured to fit a mold by the big bad cigar-chomping record executive,” explains drummer Jordan Circosta when asked about the song’s meaning, “Instead we struggle with the constant push and pull of external and internal expectations that we feel the need to live up to, where sometimes the hardest ones to contend with are those we place on ourselves. This song is about feeling beaten down by those forces and the release that comes with the decision to let go of those expectations.”
“RWLYD” was conceived just before leaving on the tour that supported the release of Control Freak, a time that saw many members of MONOWHALES struggling with their mental health and questioning their future as a band. Creating what they felt was their best work at the time breathed new life into the band and “RWLYD” was seen as a glimmer of hope in a dark time, becoming one of their favourites to perform live. “Jordan and Zach brought this song into rehearsal one day and as soon as they played it, I felt connected to it,” says singer Sally Shaar, “I loved the fresh electronic sounds and how they blended in with that thick guitar tone. The first verse was gold, it was both lyrically and melodically catchy. I immediately felt inspired to write the second verse on the spot and thought the song needed something that would get the fans engaged in our live shows. This is where the ooo’s in the post chorus come in. We jammed it that day and I was just improvising having a laugh and ended up singing the post-chorus melody. It stuck! Once that was in there, the song felt so damn breezy and fun to play. I think we were able to capture the attitude instrumentally and it really encompasses the playfulness of the lyrical and melodic content. Short story long, RWLYD bounces but it also bites.”
MONOWHALES are showing no signs of slowing down, with a tour and more recording on the horizon. When asked about the band’s future, Circosta had this to say – “We’re about to head out on tour across the country in October, landing us in BC where we’ll be finishing up the record with Ryan [Worsley]. We’ll be back in Ontario for a few more dates in November after that. The rest of the plans are kind of a secret right now but we’ll let you know what’s up when the time is right”.
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