Monarchy are back with new music – the latest single is Just Give Me Your Love. It’s euphoric synth-pop at its finest.
Just Give Me Your Love is the second single from the duo’s fourth album which will be released later this year.
Ra Black and Andrew Armstrong are the two guys who form Monarchy.
At the time of the release of their third studio album, Mid:Night, we caught up with Ra Black and Andrew Armstrong for a behind-the-scenes look at their music.
You seem to take your time between albums? What’s been the creative process you’ve followed to bring this third album to life?
Andrew: This was a bit longer between drinks, because we changed a lot in our lives, and also we signed to Warners, so it took a moment to enter the machine. As well, we wrote a bunch a tracks that we didn’t end up liking, so we wrote a bunch more that we preferred.
Ra: The creative process has been varied. A lot of the time we’re geographically separated, so we do a lot of idea sharing digitally. Then, when we’re in the same city, we do idea jamming together and then finesse separately.
Working together as a duo must be fairly intense – do you need to take time-out from each other?
Andrew: It can be, but we have enough time apart. We both travel a lot, and live in different cities sometimes, so we get our time apart. Ra is super-quiet, I’m more noisy – he probably gets sick of me and my endless stories of debauchery, nights out and personal dramas, before I get sick of him.
Ra: It’s true, I’m more solitary and need time alone to recharge after being with other people. But Andrew and I have known each other for years now, he doesn’t drain my energy. It’s more that I need time alone to process all the ideas and thoughts we have when we’re together.
You’ve written that you got bored with being moody and serious. Did you feel that you needed to be moody and serious from a credibility perspective?
Andrew: I guess people attach ‘credibility’ with ‘moody and serious’, but sometimes it’s a bit laughable. You can listen to some ‘moody’ lyrics and they end up sounding either deliberately and pretentiously obtuse, or self-indulgent. Anyone can attach an obscure metaphor to love, just think of any object and start singing about it. I think it’s harder to write a happy song that isn’t cheesy.
Ra: For sure, writing happy songs is harder. By its nature, happiness doesn’t have the same gravity or drama as the darker feelings or emotions. Also, as humans, we love stories – few stories start, continue and end with ‘happy ever after’. My desire to write more joyful songs came from a desire to be happier as a person, so it was a little like self-medication to gain self-actualisation.
I love the track Cumming Coma – is this an example of your more playful side?
Andrew: For sure. We wrote another song called My Love Is Showing, about having a hard-on in public. It didn’t make the album. Maybe we need to rework it for the next album.
Ra: When I first thought of that line, I thought it was too funny to put in a song. But, with the right mood around it, it actually sounded interesting and fresh. Also, you can get away with more audacious lyrics when singing in falsetto.
Who’s the audience for your music?
Andrew: We have a really varied audience, but there’s lots of gay followers which is great, and lots of girls. People seem to appreciate that we’re creating our own world, and they want to be part of it. We seem to inspire some fanaticism as well, so we had people flying from Brazil to see us in the last tour. That was very touching.
Ra: I don’t think about who our music is for that much. Probably subconsciously, I’m wanting to please my friends and peers.
What do you hope that people feel when listening to your album Mid:Night?
Andrew: Quite cruisy, and sexy – a few cocktails down, with the lighting low. Ready for a night out, or ready for a night in.