"Dorian Gray" by Monday NightsReview
The new Monday Nights single "Dorian Gray", is, I'm pleased to announce, released today.
It is quite a shift in tone for the band compared with the lighter touch of earlier releases such "Petrichor" (in either its full or acoustic arrangements) or "Flight".
I don't need to go into too much background for "Hot Music Live" readers as to the source of the title, though it presents the 1891 narrative from the viewpoint of the portrait rather than the protagonist or a third party.
But that's far from all the band seek to use the song to achieve, as they also seek to use the story as a metaphor for "…. a toxic relationship between two people where the speaker feels like they have to sacrifice aspects of themselves in order to save their partner's reputation".
Consequently, since the song is engaging such a different subject, the band go for a significantly different approach to their previous singles. Or possibly "approaches" since identifying a single tonal shift let alone multiple elements of innovations isn't as easier as it might at first be assumed. Certainly one might reasonably expect a gothic slant (the novel being regarded as part of that literary genre), but I don't feel comfortable suggesting that they take that path since they don't.
Certainly parts (but only parts) are compressed & claustrophobic (the attic effect?) but other parts are reminiscent of Sparks who let's face it, also took on complex & literary targets and responded with complex & symphonic music: as Monday Nights do. This approach allows for a range of moods & atmospheres to develop through the track: queasy, unsettling, imploring, disapproving but then almost hymnal in tone. There is a definite movement here in the direction of prog, though I'm pleased to say that the tautness of the composition & playing hauls the song back from excess & indulgence & indeed keeps it as a genuine song saying something of interest.
Monday Nights, I feel it's safe to say, possess considerable musical ambition. Their songs tackle unusual & original subjects & then are developed with matching qualities. Let's hope that audiences are adequately interested in having their minds and horizons expanded in proportion to the opportunities this band are offering them.