First Listen: The Monophonics promise to "Love You Better"

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    Photo by Geoff Whitman

    (April 28, 2022) There are at least Sage Motels by my very unscientific count of Googling ‘Sage Motel’ and counting the mentions on the first page. These hotels dot the western and Southwest United States and can be found in big cities like San Antonio and small towns like Newcastle, Wy.

    Sage Motel is the title and story of the new album from the psychedelic soul band, the Monophonics, which is due to drop on May 13. The storyline behind the Sage Motel states that it opened in the 1940s as a rest spot for travelers and truckers doing the long haul, but by the 1960s and 70s and transformed into a bohemian hangout for artists, musicians and the like before falling on hard times. The album celebrates the grand-reopening of the motels and the songs tell the story of what the walls might say if they could talk.

    (April 28, 2022) There are at least Sage Motels by my very unscientific count of Googling ‘Sage Motel’ and counting the mentions on the first page. These hotels dot the western and Southwest United States and can be found in big cities like San Antonio and small towns like Newcastle, Wy.

    Sage Motel is the title and story of the new album from the psychedelic soul band, the Monophonics, which is due to drop on May 13. The storyline behind the Sage Motel states that it opened in the 1940s as a rest spot for travelers and truckers doing the long haul, but by the 1960s and 70s and transformed into a bohemian hangout for artists, musicians and the like before falling on hard times. The album celebrates the grand-reopening of the motels and the songs tell the story of what the walls might say if they could talk.

    Now, I don’t know if album tells the story of one of an actual Sage Motel or if the songs are composites of stories that could be told by walls in other hotels. The songs on Sage Motel are very real and, if their latest single, “Love You Better,” is any indication, very good.

    “Love You Better” is an example of what listeners have gotten from this Bay Area band on four previous records that the Monophonics have released since 2012. The tune features a great story delivered by a soulful singer with a rangy tenor, wrapped around instrumentation that’s decidedly analog.

    On “Love You Better,” that vocalist asks a loaded question to a lover who should already know the answer, but who is acting like that answer is anything but obvious. In a tone that is both braggadocious and begging, he forms the song’s title into a question. What follows is the kind of tension filled discussion that happens within the walls of “Sage Motels” across the world. Check it out here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Monophonics - "Love You Better"

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