New Audio: Portland’s Rare Monk Releases a Seething New Single

With the release of 2014’s “Splice”/”Sleep Attack” 7 inch and 2015’s Tom McFall-produced, self-titled debut EP, which featured “Warning Pulse” and “California (Will Burn),” the Portland, OR-based indie rock act Rare Monk received praise across the blogosphere, as well as college radio airplay.

In 2016, the Portland-based indie act went through a series of lineup changes that included the departure of their original guitarist and violinist, who was later replaced by Hugh Jepson. With Jepson’s addition to the band, the newly reconstituted quartet started writing material that’s seen as a marked sonic departure from their previously released work. The end result was 2017’s self-released, full-length debut A Future, which featured songs with bigger guitar parts, dueling leads and falsetto harmonies, as you’d hear on “Happy Haunting,” the quartet’s biggest track to date.

Never Really Over, the Portland, OR- based indie rock act’s sophomore album is slated for release next year — and although the material was originally written and recorded between 2018-2019, the album manages to capture our current moment with an eerie prescience. The central thematic thread is an omnipresent and seemingly unceasing dread: of the end of the world as we know it; of impending financial collapse, of a slow decline and devolution full of paranoia, the demonization of science, constant surveillance, persecution and cruelty at increasingly efficient scales, rampant greed, idiocy and inescapable death. While those initial fears have become frighteningly real, Rare Monk’s Dorian Aites says “Hope is definitely not lost, it’s just become more difficult. We’ll get through and we hope the songs help.”

“Statistic Vandals,” Never Really Over‘s latest single features shimmering, reverb-soaked guitars, angular bass lines, driving rhythms and ethereal vocals. — and while the song sonically seems indebted to OK Computer-era Radiohead, the song is centered around a seething and uneasy fury inspired by a word of constant data collection, aggregation and warrantless surveillance.