reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Marcus McLaughlin never seems to have a shortage of songs to share. From his earlier work with Great Red Giants to the annual releases with bleu that date back to 2014’s colours II, the young Newfoundland musician is always attentive to the growth of his sound. Monoculture EP is the latest release from bleu, and once again features spacious guitars and the now-signature use of lyrics written in the second person.
“born into something” could be a single on par with it comes in waves’ “killing time”, and has already received the meme treatment by fans. It hooks and repeats with an infectious pace, and with lyrics like “I never rest though I sleep”, McLaughlin effectively sets a tone for the EP — a half-sleepy half-dreamy mood that threads through every track without a seam. Pair this with the way each song addresses a nameless and romantic “you”, and you have an EP with a rock-solid cohesiveness.
The second highlight, and third track, of Monoculture EP, “fall apart”, tilts slightly by shifting into a lo-key reverb drenched guitar. The second track, aptly titled “track 02”, is instrumental ambiance which serves as a break between the two catchiest tracks on the four song release. By the time “hero” closes the album, you can feel the history that bleu has, and the diligence that McLaughlin brings to his craft — even if on the surface the aversion to capitalization and lo-fi bedroom production hints at a familiar indie scene. At the end of the day, the ear for unity is impressive enough to set Monoculture EP apart.
Top Track: “born into something”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)