published: 22 /
First-rate album from indie pop outfit the Monochrome Set, which was inspired by manuscripts from the 15th century
Back in 2002, I did an interview with Monochrome Set frontman Bid (his real name is Ganesh Seshadri) via email for Pennyblackmusic - an interview that I remember with dread, as he wasn’t exactly talkative (reading it again now, I realise that my questions were quite bad as well).
But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that the Monochrome Set released some truly amazing singles and albums during the late 70s and early 80s (just listen to masterpieces like ‘Eine Symphonie des Grauens’ or ‘The Monochrome Set (I Presume)’ if you don’t believe me).
Since then, the band has reformed a couple of times, and Bid also had the band Scarlet’s Well, where he worked with a bunch of different singers for each album, as he didn’t want to be the lead singer for once. And this new album, ‘Fabula Mendax’, actually reminds me quite a bit of Scarlet’s Well (apart from that Bid is the lead singer, as usual in the Monochrome Set), partly because of its lyrics, based on old manuscripts from the 15th century by Joan of Arc’s friend Armande de Pange, but also because of the music, which is haunting and employs a lot of unusual instruments. The first single off the album, ‘Come to Me, Oh, My beautiful’, is a classic Bid tune, and is one of the best songs here, but there are plenty more good songs to discover on this album, which probably won’t spawn a lot of new fans, but will definitely satisfy the old ones.
Rest, Unquiet Spirit
Throw It out the Window
My Little Reliquary
Summer of the Demon
I Can't Sleep
Come to Me, Oh, My Beautiful
La chanson de la pucelle