Krisp, the indie rock/chillwave quartet hailing from the tropics of Miami, has recently released a soulful, scintillating record. Sonic Monarch’s overall mood mirrors Krisp’s vibrant, native city, exuding ‘80s synth, funky groove, and sunny rock elements.
Bouncy guitar lines and Santana-esque energy launch the record through fuchsia-colored stratosphere on “Franz.” It’s a head-turner of a song; like a short, swishy skirt with a pair of long legs, it demands our focus and then sends us smiling on our way.
This sauciness pairs well with the ensuing silver-studded, indie rock-infused “Black Mamba.” The lyrics describe a couple plagued by disconnection: “She sleeps to the left/I sleep to the right/She’s a shadow of the night/She saw it coming tonight,” which shifted my focus for the remainder of the record from the electrifying instrumentation to the dynamic, deliberate word choices.
While the groovy, disco-heavy instrumentation may set a carefree vibe, the lyrics consistently play a more serious, contemplative role throughout the entire album. On “Outnumber,” the vocalist assures that, “Our past is not a blindness/we are learning,” and admits that he “should have left when we were done/It’s for the best to say goodbye when we’re both having fun…you tell me where you’re from/You never tell me where you come from.” But one of my favorite lyrics is on “Once”: “You never make decisions on your own/When we expect each other to be wrong/When we aren’t, we’ll look the other way/But if we are, it’s all the same.” The lyrics are strong, simple, and blunt.
My favorite track from the record is “Dust,” which commences like an ‘80s cop show intro. “We’re moving on and I won’t tell you where to go/Make your decision tonight/I’m writing everything, everything down/Down with your laws, down with your laws,” the vocalist sings. The disco-synth and groovy basslines transition from creating an upbeat, sparkling feel to an unapologetically blunt and intense mood.
With a crispy heartiness baked in from disco, indie rock, and electro, Sonic Monarch is warm and cinnamon-flavored. The record is spunky, smart, and fresh.–Rachel Haney