“perfect tropical vibes” – Backyard Opera “I feel like I’m seeing colours while I listen to this.” – Dave Ruby Howe, triple j Unearthed “what a bloody epic journey into funk-fuelled psychedelia it is” – Pilerats
Canberra five-piece Young Monks – Matt Santos (vocals), Sam Koster (guitar, vocals, production), Stephen Reinhart (guitar, keys, vocals), Tommy Caldwell (bass), Jarrad Stewart (drums) – have spent the past three years creating and refining their infectious blend of funky, psychedelic rock, crafting trippy and exciting musical odysseys influenced by diverse artists from Tame Impala to The Avalanches. Their debut album Swamp Creek (2018) was created true to their firm DIY aesthetic – the band singlehandedly producing all the music and videos – and received warm critical praise across the board. They have shared stages with bands including Ocean Alley and Hands Like Houses and performed festivals such as Spilt Milk and Lost Paradise, amassing over 3.5 million streams and 50,000+ monthly Spotify listeners.
Canberra tropical-funk masters Young Monks are back with the blissful new single ‘Good Morning’, an ode to starting the day right, out today via Cooking Vinyl Australia. It’s the first taste of new music since the band unveiled their self-produced, mind-melting debut album Swamp Creek in June last year.
‘Good Morning’ is available to stream and purchase here.
In Young Monks’ signature funky-rhythmic style, ‘Good Morning’ is about embracing the best part of the day by welcoming the sunrise into your body and feeling the heat. The track features an infectious guitar lick with warm, uplifting horns ablaze that paired with layered harmonies and vivid production creates the ultimate psychedelic chiller. The band explained “We’ve been let loose again! ‘Good Morning’ came from an all-killer-no-filler jam session in the now abandoned Steed Space MachineTM – we peppered in all the right spices to make this sonic delight as delectable as a stack of pancakes on a Saturday Morning, and it’s going to excite and entice your groove moves.”
Showcasing the collective’s commanding musical prowess, electric energy and high vibes, Young Monksrecently took their full live set along the East Coast for a limited four-date run, with sold out shows at Sydney’s Oxford Art Gallery Bar and The Old Bar in Melbourne.
Canberra tropical-funk quintet Young Monks are excited to today release their self-produced debut albumSwamp Creek, out independently via Bad Bad Records/UNIFIED Music Group. The long-awaited full-length features their much-loved breakthrough ‘Jarmin In The Dark‘ plus most recent singles ‘Bad Bad Freddy‘, ‘Bayside Suicide‘ and ‘Supersonic Melodies‘, and will be taken on the road this July for 8 shows along the East Coast.
Swamp Creek is available for purchase here. Tickets for all shows on sale from youngmonks.net.
Reflecting on the naturalistic world and its relationship with the individual mind, Swamp Creek ponders existence, importance of self and the revelatory nature of natural psychosomatic agents. Discussing the major themes of the album, the band explains “We wanted to develop and explore the idea of the unconscious mind linked to the spiritual being, and across the 22 tracks we continue to visit and revisit being in a dream-state or a sense of altered reality… a transition from the space in-between being asleep to being awake, from vision within this world to what we see within our minds, it all exists within the domain of the imaginary.”
Combining elements of psychedelic-pop, funk and indie-rock with masterful experimental production,Young Monks have created a dreamlike soundscape that journeys through euphoric, psychotropic highs and eerie, distorted lows. The band’s most recent singles ‘Bayside Suicide‘ and ‘Supersonic Melodies‘ have received widespread praise, with radio airplay nationally including on 2XX, 2RRR, 4ZZZ, PBS,RTRFM, SYN, triple j, triple j Unearthed and more.
Canberra five-piece Young Monks – Matt Santos (vocals), Sam Koster (guitar, vocals, production),Stephen Reinhart (guitar, keys, vocals), Tommy Caldwell (bass), Jarrad Stewart (drums) – have spent the past three years creating and refining their infectious blend of psychedelic-pop-wave, crafting trippy and exciting musical adventures influenced by artists such as Tame Impala and Glass Animals to The Avalanches. True to their firm DIY aesthetic, the wildly creative collective singlehandedly produce all their own music and videos, have amassed over 2.2 million streams and 45,000+ monthly Spotify listeners and shareyoungmonks.net
d the stage with standout local artists including Ocean Alley, Hands Like Houses and Saskwatch.
YOUNG MONKS – SWAMP CREEK Out now independently via Bad Bad Records/UNIFIED Music Group
Available to purchase here
You’re based in Canberra, what is the music scene like there?
The music scene in Canberra seems to be strong at the moment, there are a bunch of bands doing really cool things. Unfortunately we have seen the closure of few venues in the city which puts a gap in the fence of bands being able to play in a space of around 3-400 capacity. In saying that, there are still punters wanting to get out on a weekend to catch a local gig at the spaces we have available.
You’ll be releasing your debut record ‘Swamp Creek” on June 29, I hear the album is self-produced, why did you decide to produce the album yourselves and how was the experience?
We have always strived to be a DIY band, making our own music, music videos, photos and graphics. Doing this creates a place for us to be as creative as we like with no pressure of having to be running on someone else’s time. Our guitarist “Sam Koster” has the ability to produce for us at a level higher then we have achieved going into a first class recording studio. It was really a no brainer to keep everything in-house to not only save money but allow us to spend more time making the record that we wanted to make together, in the spaces that we chose to do them. The experience was absolutely amazing, we embarked on a few mini “Airbnb” tours and we would take all of our gear and venture into the forests and beaches of Victoria all the way to the railway in Bundanoon. I think the time spent at these places was one we will never forget as a band. We learnt a lot about each other and about recording an album during this time. I think it made us so much stronger as a band in the process.
Where and when did you record?
The recording took place over around 1.5 years from demo stages to the completion and mixdown stage. It took place in a range of different houses and living rooms across Australia. The demos being created in our homes in Canberra and once we felt ready to finish the demos we booked a mini Airbnb tour. After spending some time in a studio space we hired in Sydney to get the best drum recordings we could we were ready to dive into the record head on. We first pitched up in Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road. We got ourselves a tree house like cabin in the middle of a dense forest and began to create what would be the first Young Monks record. The place had a very swampy feel to it surrounded by waterfalls and close by a beach. From here we moved all of our gear to the Kangaroo Valley and set up in an Artist house in Bundanoon. Right on a rail way, it created a alien like feel to the record and this is where we were able to get most of the tracking done for the record. We also set up studio in a Cave House in Yarrangobilly in NSW. This place offered us a cave to explore and some of the recordings on the record were in fact recorded inside the cave.
What equipment and programs did you use?
We use a range of equipment, most of the gear we have accumulated over the years of recording. We keep it pretty simple most of the time to be honest, we set up probably 2 or 3 mics and use them for mostly everything. We have a basic interface that we use and we run into a DAW called Logic. We can’t give away all our secrets in production but this is our basic portable recording set up.
Previous to this album, what is your experience with producing and recording?
We have always been producing our own music, mainly we would write and record demos and then take the best demos and try to reproduce them better. So we have always been involved with recording from a young age. We have never put a large body of work like a full length out ourselves though, so this was a challenge for us. We tend to try and challenge ourselves as much as we can though as it betters our skills and knowledge around the process.
What influenced the songwriting and sound of Swamp Creek?
The music sort of speaks for itself, most of the songs were influenced by a setting we were in or a place we had visited. Ranging from Warburton in Victoria to Yarrangobilly in NSW to Berrydale just near Jindabyne. The places we situated ourselves were always very beautiful in nature and swampy in the vibes. I think for us anyway setting is very important to how a song will feel, we tend to think nature provides the best scene for songwriting.
How did Young Monks start as a band?
It was a project of Sam, Stevie and Matt’s. We had been playing together for quite a few years prior to YOMO, we had been in previous bands together, Sam and Stevie have known each other since they were 6 years old and met Santos around the age of 13. We matured up after school and kept making music together and decided that we should take our songs and form a new band together which we would name Young Monks. We put a couple of our early recordings onto our Unearthed page and from there we started to generate some interest.
You have an Australian tour coming up in July, what can we expect from these shows?
We always try to bring the most energy we can to our shows, we want people to leave the venue thinking they had a great time and tell their friends about it. Apart from an energetic show, you can expect to hear us playing out songs from Swamp Creek as well as some old bangers.
How do you prepare for each show?
We set up rehearsals in our living room and we practice 4 times a week for 4 hours each night. Before a bigger show we’ll take our rehearsals to a venue so we can practice in full production which is helpful for our sound tech and for us to feel out the songs in a proper live environment. Before the show we just make sure everyone has what they need and that the vibes are strong. Group huddles are a must.
What do you find most challenging and rewarding about playing live and touring?
It’s insane how much work goes into a show behind the scenes, from us spending 16 hours a week preparing our set to the lighting rig to the sound tech. The challenge is taking everything we have rehearsed and planned to the venue and making it all work each time flawlessly. It’s completely rewarding seeing people turn up and have a good time, sing our songs out loud. It makes all the time spent on it worth it in the end.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018 going into 2019?
We have a tour coming up in July and a couple of shows booked up north for October. I think we will try and ride out the rest of the year playing shows and trying to get some festival slots in the early summer. Then most likely early next year we will head back into writing mode and start working on some new material. We are just sort of riding the vibe at this point, we have not locked in any plans for next year.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
We are all listening to a bunch of different stuff. Lots of jazz influenced music, Demarco, Sufjan, Nujabes, Ocean Alley, Gang of Youths, Slow Turismo, Connan Mockasin, Alt J, Foals, RHCP. Pretty much everything!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
We all love a good Laksa at the Asian Noodle House, Zambreros and Indian are high on the Hit List, but we love hanging out in our studio den and on stage or at the local pub. We get a lot of shit chat happening at the pub where we talk all things MONK.
Young Monks self-produced debut album Swamp Creek is out independently on June 29 via Bad Bad Records/UNIFIED Music Group. Pre-order it here.
4.5/5 “ I feel like I’m seeing colours while I listen to this” –Dave Ruby Howe, triple j Unearthed “…a hefty dose of upbeat, tropical jams to bop along to” – Music Feeds
Experimental, tropical-funk quartet Young Monks have announced their long-awaited, self-produced debut album Swamp Creek, to be released independently on June 29 via Bad Bad Records/UNIFIED Music Group. The news follows the premiere of the intoxicating new single ‘SupersonicMelodies’ on triple j Unearthed, paired with a run of Australian tour dates.
Recorded amongst redwood forests, farmland plains, stalactite caves, oceanic mists and glowworm valleys, Swamp Creek reflects on the naturalistic world and its relationship with the individual mind, pondering existence, importance of self and the revelatory nature of natural psychosomatic agents. Over the course of 21 tracks, Young Monks have created an aural kaleidoscope, sending the imagination running wild alongside an exhilarating adventure – from the cruisey, sun-bleached ‘The Flow & The Motion’, to the euphoric, psychotropic highs of ‘Supersonic Melodies’, and rich otherworldly production on ‘Trippin’, the band lucidly combines psychedelic-pop, atmospheric electronica and adventurous instrumentation, almost evoking a sense of synesthesia with the vividness and warmth.
To celebrate the impending release of Swamp Creek, Young Monks are throwing a UV party at Mr Wolf in Canberra on June 1, giving their hometown the first live preview of tracks from the album, before embarking on the Swamp Creek Australia tour in July. Kicking things off in Brisbane, the band will make their way down the east coast, including stops in Newcastle, Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong and Mona Vale, before wrapping up in Moruya, to deliver electric performances that will showcase the band’s commanding musical prowess and high vibes.
Canberra four-piece Young Monks – Matt Santos (vocals), Sam Koster (guitar, vocals, production),Stephen Reinhart (guitar, keys, vocals), Tommy Caldwell (bass) – have spent the past three years creating and refining their infectious blend of neo-psychedelic rock, crafting trippy and exciting musical odysseys influenced by artists such as Tame Impala and Glass Animals to The Avalanches. True to their firm DIY aesthetic, the wildly creative collective singlehandedly produce all their own music and videos, and have amassed over 2.2 million streams and 73,000+ monthly Spotify listeners and shared the stage with standout local artists including Ocean Alley, Hands Like Houses and Saskwatch.
YOUNG MONKS – SWAMP CREEK June 29, 2018 (Independent via Bad Bad Records/UNIFIED Music Group)
Available to pre-order here
Swamp Creek track list:
2. The Flow & The Motion
3. Awake On The Moon
4. Interlude #1
5. Aliens Of Babylon
6. Interlude #2
7. Supersonic Melodies
8. Interlude #3
9. Swamp Creek
10. Bayside Suicide
12. Interlude #4
13. Told You So
14. Interlude #5
15. Jarmin In The Dark
17. Bad Bad Freddy
18. Interlude #6
20. Interlude #7
22. Food Of The Gods
YOUNG MONKS – SWAMP CREEK AUSTRALIA TOUR
Tickets on sale now from youngmonks.net
Friday 1 June – Mr Wolf, Canberra
Friday 13 July – Bloodhound Bar, Brisbane
Sunday 15 July – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday 20 July – Workers Club, Melbourne
Saturday 21 July – Brighton Up, Sydney
Sunday 22 July – Rad Bar, Wollongong
Wednesday 25 July – Roundhouse Beergarden, Randwick
Friday 27 July – The Park House, Mona Vale
Saturday 28 July – Waterfront Hotel, Moruya
“a pastiche of psychedelic pop melodies” – Happy “a hefty dose of upbeat, tropical jams to bop along to” – Music Feeds
Canberra tropical-funk quartet Young Monks today make their long-awaited return with the mind-bending single ‘Bayside Suicide’, the first new music from the band since 2016. Accompanied by a trippy and vivid ultraviolet video, the track is a fresh cut from their upcoming, yet-to-be-announced debut album, and will be launched with a hometown UV party at Mr Wolf on June 1.
Exploring a sense of altered reality and existence in a dream-state, ‘Bayside Suicide’ considers the unconscious mind and how it links to one’s spiritual being. In Young Monks’ signature experimental style, groovy, euphoric instrumentation overlaid with hazy, reverb-rich vocals evoke a breezy, carefree mood, combining warm, buttery, pop melodies with production wizardry and elements of new wave, dreamy psychedelia.
Explaining the song’s conception, the band explains, “The first verse of ’Bayside Suicide’ is based off a dream one of our band-members had, it’s not exactly a story or one solid idea that’s been finalised, rather it’s the journey through the curious and odd parts of perception. When it came time to shoot the video, we wanted to follow on with the abstract ideas and dive right into that distorted reality while truly reflecting our musical style and us as a band – so we chose to convey a feeling of psychedelia, allowing the viewer to perceive and explore their senses aided by a cacophony of UV colour, dance and movement.”
Canberra four-piece Young Monks – Matt Santos (vocals), Sam Koster (guitar, vocals, production),Stephen Reinhart (guitar, keys, vocals), Tommy Caldwell (bass) – have spent the past three years creating and refining their infectious blend of neo-psychedelic rock, crafting trippy and adventurous musical odysseys influenced by artists such as Tame Impala, Glass Animals and The Avalanches. Amassing over 2.1 million streams and 50,000+ monthly Spotify listeners with fan-favourites ‘Bad Bad Freddy’ and ‘Jarmin In The Dark’, Young Monks have shared the stage with standout local artists including Ocean Alley, Hands Like Houses and Saskwatch.