Monograms – “Speak And Spell”
Since 2017, Brooklyn’s Ian Jacobs has been releasing music under the name Monograms. Jacobs’ style is a hazy, corroded take on ’80s pop — like chillwave, but not really very chill at all. (Jacobs calls his style “nuke wave.”) Last year, Jacobs released a Monograms album called Only A Ceiling Fan Can Stay Inside Forever. Next month, he’ll follow it with the new EP Floors And Ceilings, and he’s just released the first single.
“Speak And Spell,” named after the quaint little electronic doohickey that helped teach many of us how to put words together in the ’80s, is a dark and catchy little lo-fi sputter of a song. It’s bleak and hooky at the same time, and I like the way its oscillating keyboard bloops lock in with its distorted Joy Division-style guitar. In a press release, Jacobs talks about “Speak And Spell”:
“Speak And Spell” was a tune that came together right in the days leading up to and right after the Capitol riots in January in DC. Every day felt like a new catastrophe, everyone on edge at all times. I know it made me feel kinda crazy, and it also felt like a lot of people were being fooled, which is sort of par for the course at times. But this felt like a strange new dilemma given all the circumstances. As it all unfolded, it almost encapsulated a heavy dose, all at once, of a bunch of other shit we’re all just stuck living in.
Check it out below.
The Floors And Ceilings EP is out 6/18 on PaperCup Music.