Isolation is something that we have all become familiar with over the last few years, whether physical or social. For the aptly titled single ‘Isolation’, MonkeyRat takes this feeling we have all come to know and turns it into engaging music. After starting as a poem written in 2020, the single considers the toll isolation has on all of us, while offering something bright for the future.
The poem the track grew from was written by Anna Iachino (vocals) after she was locked down in Iceland, far from her family on the Faroe Islands. After being unable to contact her husband Arnold Ludvig (bass), she wrote the poem using her new artistic practice of poetry with electronics. With the further help of the other members of the band, Alain Apaloo (guitar) and Jens Stoklund (drums), the EP now draws on psychedelic rock and experimental tones.
‘Isolation’ has an extremely gentle opening that reaches out into the vast expanse of the universe. The single note seems to reach out like a celestial ribbon endlessly flowing toward the horizon. Guitar notes slowly make their way into the soundscape adding a new splash of colour to the soundscape. While there is a very expansive feeling to the sound, as the instrumentation enters it gains a more intimate feeling. Halfway through the single, the guitars burst with a sudden hit that bangs against your chest. This leads to a more rock soundscape that brings a roll of drums and the thrum of the guitar. It is an interesting melody that rises into pure rock tones while forming the perfect foundation for the poetry of the lyrics.
Iachino’s vocals have a spoken word vibe to them as they draw you into the poem that forms the lyrics. While there is a spoken-word feeling, her performance also has this light melodic flow to it. The lyrics are seriously easy to connect with after the isolation and separation we have all felt over the last few years. It is also an intriguing look into the thoughts and feelings of isolation that impacted the world as a whole. The soft considerations of the vocal match the delicate movement of the melody. As the melody takes a rock turn, the vocals rise to match with the bursts of the guitars emphasising the lyrics. While there is a melodic flow to the vocals, they still retain the edge of spoken word.
MonkeyRat draws us into a poetic look at separation and the toll, both good and bad, this has on all of us through the impactful movement of ‘Isolation’. The melody uses a delicate touch to enhance the spoken vocals of the first half. As the guitars come into their own with a rock flair, the vocals rise to match while retaining the power of spoken poetry.