Robbie & Mona are not their real names. They go by Will Carkeet and Ellie Gray, until stepping on the stage in their pop monikers, named after Ellie’s old dogs. Crafting sounds much more tuneful than any dog I’ve heard, Robbie & Mona are a duo to watch out for. The biggest compliment I can pay them are their similarities to one of my favourite albums, Tender Buttons by Broadcast. Pairing Ellie’s serene, spacious vocals with warped production, their resemblance to Trish Keenan and company is clear. Nonetheless, whilst Broadcast emerged in the wake of ‘90s kraut-rockers, Robbie & Mona have a 21st century, lo-fi quality to them, suitable for a time when the world has hit a glitch.
Although most of the album wasn’t recorded in their (lo-fi) bedroom, the Bristol-based duo evoke these same cosy sensations on tracks like lead single, Wallpaper. Spacey keys couple a feel-good synth line as the pair of dogs take your hand for a dance. Other tunes like Picking Up Ruby offer a more surreal, distorted trip whilst the cadence of Venice’s chorus produces something of an ear worm. Recent single Queen Celine – with accompanying music video – is a ravenous experience that makes sure you won’t know where you are at all times; no wonder it was written around a character losing her marbles. Throughout the album, there is this balancing act between vast spaciousness and fuzzed-out electronics. The combination is not shoehorned in but flows as a cohesive whole. Clocking in at around 25 minutes from a 9-track stretch, EW is definitely worth your time of day.