Heralding 2023 from way out west, Monde UFO land on Quindi with a distinctive album of dream pop vignettes and outer rim punk exotica.
Hailing from the same Californian heat haze as recent Quindi signings Bondo, Monde UFO have manifested in the past four years through a series of DIY releases including their 2021 album 7171 and last year's set of Fugazi covers, 4 Songs. The loose fit project centres around the singing, playing and songwriting of Ray Monde and Kris Chau and features Kern Haug on drums. The resulting sound arrives as a resourceful analog of plush 60s pop captured through the modest means of a truly independent musical endeavour.
The sound rendered on Vandalized Statue touches on dubby atmospherics, the lilting breeze of bossa nova and the introverted muse of US indie rock, but the end result is a natural, cohesive whole centered around the songwriting. Imagine the girl from Ipanema sat toking in a comfortable spot in the corner of the dive bar while someone weaves her a tall tale or two, and you might be somewhere in the right direction. The stories in the lyrics unfurl as meandering narratives taking you through everyday exchanges and far-fetched, cosmic scenarios alike. At every turn the cosy musicality gives everything a relatable, homespun charm, even as the mixing desk becomes a mess and the lo-fi FX crash into each other.
The album will be fronted by three singles which reflect the wide reach of Monde UFO's sound. 'Visions of Fatima' is one of the more melancholic pieces on the album, fronted by laconic organ and centring on cracked vocals with an off key charm that indirectly evokes Jeffrey Lee Pierce. 'Government Employee' is a sun-kissed trip of low-key lounge surrealism, bizarro storytelling and shuffling exotica splendour which broadly defines the woozy mood of Vandalized Statue. 'Garden Of Agony' is a more delicate but no less dreamy piece matching electric tremolo with acoustic fingerpicking balladry which hides its considerable depths behind a seemingly simple arrangement.
At once intimate and projected into the cosmos, Monde UFO add to the particular path Quindi is taking through hidden corners of independent music with a romantic, restless spirit.